The way users post video to Twitter is changing, the social media giant has announced. Twitter plans to fully integrate native video capabilities as video becomes more popular. According to Twitter, video tweets have increased by more than 50 percent since the beginning of 2016.
Previously, videos uploaded to Twitter were restricted to 30 seconds in length, but with this update, anyone can create video tweets up to 140 seconds (2 minutes and 20 seconds) long. Twitter noted that select publishers can continue to post videos up to 10 minutes long through the professional publisher tools.
"With Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram's video capabilities, Twitter had to join the party or leave," said Sofia Hernandez, executive vice president at MRY creative agency. "Until now, [Twitter] was limited to text, links and photo. Video is going to extend conversations on a topic and get users much more engaged."
Though six-second Vine videos can be embedded in tweets, Hernandez believes native in-app Twitter videos will have a greater impact and engagement rate. Twitter videos will also differ from Periscope, which gives users the ability to live stream an event or have a conversation with their followers in a live capacity.
"Periscope is beneficial for brands who are on the ground in order to live stream during a specific event," said Jenny Marder, director of social media at Red Tettemer O'Connell + Partners. "The difference is that this new tool will allow brands to rethink and concept around the two-minute limit in order to share a comprehensive story with their followers."
The move toward video marketing
According to a recent study by DIY-video-making company Animoto, video is dominating the way professionals market their products and business. Animoto found that, of small business owners and marketers who plan to spend money on social media in the next 12 months, two-thirds plan to promote video on Facebook, more than any other channel.
YouTube is also projected to see the most growth in paid video promotion by small business owners over the next year, especially with the recent rollout of YouTube Director, the study found, and Instagram is expected to see the most growth for paid video promotion among professional marketers.
Although professional marketers ranked Snapchatlast among platforms they were confident using, more than a quarter of pro marketers see the platform, which has video storytelling capabilities, as very important or important to their social media strategy in the next year.
"There is a lot of noise out there, so the quality and shareability of your content are the most important things to consider," said Cyndi Knapic, head of Animoto for business.
Business leaders should invest in the platforms where they can provide the most educational or entertaining content in a meaningful way, Knapic added.
How small businesses will benefit from video tweets
Twitter's new feature will expand the storytelling experience for brands and businesses.
"Visual assets are core to how a brand tells its story, and it's no secret that marketers are giving video more importance in their creative asset mix and shifting dollars from traditional TV to digital video," Hernandez said.
"For businesses which rely on strictly organic posts, this feature will allow them to tell their story over two minutes," added Marder.
The new video capabilities can also be useful for product demonstrations; video allows for a more thorough explanation of product benefits and functionality, Hernandez said. Videos such as beauty tutorials and tech gadget demonstrations will drive users to purchase, she said.
Marder emphasized the importance of providing a call to action, in either the video or the tweet, to give users a reason to interact or share the content, thus increasing brands' views and engagement.
"It will be interesting to see if longer videos equate to more success for brands, or if this is just a means for Twitter to stay relevant on the social video map," Marder said.
For more information on how Twitter can optimize your social media marketing, check out our comprehensive guide.