Following in the footsteps of Facebook and Instagram, Twitter announced yesterday that it will shortly be autoplaying all videos by default, meaning that we can now all look forward to many more wasted hours of our lives watching cats fall down toilets or rhinos making friends with lambs.
For The Viewers…
Working in a similar way to Facebook’s autoplay feature, this move now means that all videos, GIFs and Vines uploaded to Twitter will automatically begin to play as the user scrolls past it in their feed. When clicked on, the video will expand to play in full screen mode with the sound turned on.
When in the timeline, the videos will play on silent, although they will be displayed in what Twitter have described as a “larger, more media-centric format” – whatever the heck that means! Apparently, it has been proven in early tests to improve the viewing rates of videos and shown that people are 2.5 times more likely to prefer the autoplay videos, plus it demonstrated a 14% rise in video recall over other video formats.
Twitter stated yesterday that this change offers a “more streamlined consumption experience for all native videos” and announced that it will be ready to go immediately on the iOS app and web client, with Android to follow in the very near future.
For The Advertisers…
This is where Twitter is differing from the other platforms in terms of its autoplay policy; unlike Facebook and Instagram, Twitter will only charge marketers and advertisers for promoted video views once a video is 100% in view on the user’s device and has been watched for at least 3 seconds.
This is quite a sea-change in terms of viewability policy, as it means that a promoted video could play uninterrupted from start to finish in a user’s timeline but, if it were only 99% in view, then it would still be free to the advertisers. This is great news for advertisers, as I imagine that there will be an awful lot of free video views for them. What’s more, Twitter have also revealed that advertisers saw a 7 fold increase in completed views of promoted videos during the initial autoplay tests.
Of course, Twitter have naturally imposed this 100% visibility policy out of the goodness of their hearts, stating that it is “simply the right thing to do”! The increased views and millions of freebies on offer to advertisers have nothing to do with it. Whatever their motives however, Twitter are clearly positioning themselves as “the premier platform” for marketers to share video content so let’s see how that pans out once the roll-out has been completed and Twitter users have had their say. I know that I, for one, will now be so much more easily distracted by my Twitter feed!