At a conference in New York last night, Twitter announced a series of changes and improvements to the product. These focused very much on video, and look to capitalise on the growth it has seen in this area – with video views growing 150 times in the last 12 months. This focus on video is significant as Twitter looks to reassert its position as a social platform.
What has been announced?
Twitter have announced three main changes to the product that focus on video.
1. Pre-roll adverts on native video content
Perhaps most significantly from an advertising perspective, Twitter is to launch 6 second pre-roll adverts on videos hosted on the platform. Brands and advertisers will be able to place ads based on video categories and audiences. And the majority of revenue will be returned to the publisher – 70% to the publisher, as opposed to 55% on YouTube.
With content creators important to the success of other social platforms, it makes sense that Twitter would want to reward those who create successful videos with ad revenue. This also gives brands access to a new digital audience (or at least a new digital touch point) for their content.
2. Periscope playing in Twitter
The second significant announcement is that Periscope live streams will play in Twitter; the two services will be more intertwined. As live-streaming begins to gain traction among a wider audience, placing it in the Twitter feed will help to increase the audience and to normalise this type of content.
3. A gif-generator for all
Finally, Twitter announced that it would launch a product to help you find gifs as you write your Tweet – making it easier for more of us to add reaction gifs and other short animations to our Tweets.
What does this mean for Twitter?
These changes show a consistent effort by Twitter to increase the volume and diversity of video content on the platform. From helping all of us add gifs to helping content creators monetise their video. This is a sign of Twitter taking video seriously. A sign that the platform is taking steps to move away from 140 characters to give people the richer experience they now expect from social platforms.
In a nutshell this means we are all going to see a lot more video on Twitter.