Hey, Mr. Marketer. Big piece of news that you can use – people love to watch videos. Especially short, funny or exciting videos on their mobile devices. What they don’t like is having to click a bunch of times because clicking is boring.
Twitter’s got you covered. They just began testing a feature that puts the video clip right in the timeline so all the user has to do is click once. I’ve posted an example for you from my iPhone. I don’t follow basketball, but I navigated to the NBA Twitter account and I found a whole bunch of these mini-videos. I clicked, the screen faded to black and then the clip began to play. It was fast and clean and enjoyable. I would have enjoyed it more if it was a hockey clip but it is what it is.
The New York Times says Twitter will give 60 top brands access to the feature as part of the Amplify video marketing program. Twitter says that simply putting a preview image in the feed increases clickthroughs by three times. Having instant play should double that number.
It’s like dangling a shiny object in front of someone’s eyes – how can they not go for it?
I suppose they might not if videos become too prevalent in the feed. People can go to Vine or YouTube for that. Which is why Twitter is limiting the access at the moment.
In order to create this type of Tweet, the Tweeter has to use Twitter’s card system. This is the tool developers use to make their Tweets look like something more than a double line of text. The real secret is that Twitter is hosting the videos from their own servers. That allows for faster delivery and it’s going to give them more data on the analytic side – two important things when they’re courting big brands.
If this all sounds very familiar, think Facebook. They’re also toying with instant play ads in the mobile feed but it’s not going so well. The big difference is that on Twitter, the video ads don’t start until you push play. After that, it’s on you.
Your First Tweet
To celebrate Twitter’s 8th birthday, they’ve rolled out a simple tool that pulls your very first Tweet out of the archive. Type in your Twitter handle or any Twitter handle and see how it all began. In most cases, it’s just plain boring but fun. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.