Though Twitter currently has 284 million unique daily users and is the go-to source for many, it is always looking for the next great way to keep its users engaged (often cited at its major problem from critics). Though the service allows for GIFs, and third-party videos (other than Vine, which it owns), those third party videos posted on the site usually run through third party sites. To address this issue, it has identified yet another way it can make an impact on the constant conversation it provides a platform for.
Earlier last week in a blog post from Twitter’s Vice President of Product, Kevin Weil, Twitter announced that it will launch a native video platform, which it has been developing for the better part of two years, in the first half of next year. Explaining why this is important to its users (and likely itself, too), Weil writes “aside from just watching video more easily on Twitter, you should be able to record, edit and share your own video natively on Twitter too.” Though stoking excitement about the new player, no further details were given, for example, on whether it expects to run ads against user-uploaded content or what the limit on the length of videos might be. This native player puts Twitter in the video sharing game along with Facebook, who has increased their video strategy in the last few months, and YouTube, who it aspires to become a rival with among its users.
The introduction of the video player presents a new opportunity for individual users; the posting of videos longer than the 6-second Vine or third-party apps was a privilege enjoyed by media companies and advertisers, who did so using the Twitter Amplify program. In this case, individual users now have more of an influence on their followers (in addition to other users they interact with using hashtags) in terms of their perspective on a particular topic, trend, product or service. In addition, individuals can also find out about businesses through the content of others—a video can say so much more than 140 characters and make a bigger impact, especially if it’s effective enough to become viral.
There is no doubt that Twitter will continue its rapid growth in terms of collecting new users; what it hopes to accomplish in the new year is to finally stake its claim in the video sharing game among the major social media platforms and continue to increase it’s ad revenue potential.