YouTube has long been king of the online video space, social media empires Facebook and Twitter are making big pushes to carve out their own slices of the fast-growing video advertising market. They are hosting video content natively on their own platforms generating a massive user attention.
The only way for regular Twitter users (that is, not advertisers, or certain publishers and celebrities) to share video was to do so through Vine, Twitter’s standalone, six-second video app. But now, Twitter has launch their own native player with unique benefits for content creators and advertisers.
With the native video tool, you can upload video from your phone’s camera roll, or shoot and edit video directly through the Twitter app. The videos will also have some kind of time limit. Twitter’s tool will feature auto-play, except that, unlike Facebook, the service will let users create their own previews. For example, a brand can only use the first few seconds at the beginning of a video for the auto-play feature on Facebook, but on Twitter, the six-second auto-play teasers can come from the beginning, the middle, or the end of a video. This will allow content creators to be more flexible when structuring their videos.
Creating that all-important curiosity gap by teasing the viewer with the promise of something dramatic, funny, outrageous, and so on, will also be easier with customization in place. One lingering issue is if, and more likely when, Facebook will adopt the feature—assuming it proves to be successful.
In terms of monetizing video, Twitter will reportedly use a pay-to-play model similar to YouTube’s TrueView system. The pay-to-play model is also an interesting challenge to Facebook’s system since it only charges advertisers when users accept the invitation of the six-second teaser and click on a video. For advertisers, it’s much more financially efficient.
For now, Twitter is apparently going to establish different rules for brands and regular users. Brands will be able to create video content that runs up to 10 minutes, while users can only publish videos up to 30 seconds. It’s an odd decision that may get in the way of Twitter’s reputation for quick-hitting updates. One question worth asking: Will users accustomed to Vines and 30-second videos even bother to watch a 10-minute branded clip?
Twitter’s eventual roll-out of their video player should be watched with a careful eye by any content marketer hoping to reach an audience through the platform.