March 21, 2014
Twitter rolled out a new platform this week for hosting video that provides iPhone and Android smartphone users with image previews of video clips in their feeds. “In-line video” allows users to play the clips with a simple click. The company has been working with TV networks and video producers over the past year to make watching video clips — such as sports highlights and show previews — easier for Twitter users. The new feature marks the biggest change to tweets since the automatic preview of photos was introduced.
Currently, Twitter users have to scan their timelines to find video links and then click up to three times to access the actual video. This has been a major hurdle for many users, especially those using mobile devices.
“In tests, showing previews of a video prompted users to watch it three times more often, Twitter said. And it expects the one-click option to increase views even further,” reports The New York Times. “Videos posted from Vine, the six-second video service owned by Twitter, already work this way.”
The new video feature is based on the Twitter Cards tech that is also used for previews of articles and photographs. The NBA is one of the early testers.
“Twitter has aggressively courted broadcasters to show advertiser-sponsored video clips on its service to nudge Twitter users to turn on their televisions,” notes the article. “Twitter reaps a substantial amount of advertising revenue from such deals, and early research suggests that tweets about a show can increase the number of people tuning in, drawing advertisers to both platforms.”