The social media giant ups the ante as it enhances video tweets to 140 seconds. Brands are excited but it’s a wait and watch period, while some feel the change was not needed
Akansha Mihir Mota & Archit Ambekar | Mumbai | June 28, 2016
Every day the world turns to Twitter to discuss various things, be it politics, fashion, gossip or news. Over 500 million people are on the platform, while active users are as many as over 310 million people around the world. Among those 310 million users are a lot of brands that are increasingly looking at using Twitter as a platform to show short videos, trailers and snippets for the users.
While earlier one could upload videos up to 30 seconds, one can now send video tweets up to 140 seconds long. Select publishers will continue to be able to post videos up to 10 minutes long through Twitter’s professional publisher tools.
Since the time Twitter turned 10, it has enhanced a lot of its services. From making 140 character tweets simpler to engaging with video content on the platform. Twitter also acquired Magic Pony; a London based Technology Company to enhance video tweets on its platform.
Millions of photo Tweets are sent every day, capturing moments – big and small – that the world is talking about. It has just announced the introduction of #Stickers, a fun new way to add creativity to your photos and connect them to the world onTwitter. Soon, you can browse Twitter’s rotating sets of stickers to join in on real-time conversations, and select from the library of hundreds of accessories, emoji, and props to make your photos more fun.
The social media giant has come a long way in the last 10 years. BestMediaInfo spoke to industry experts and marketers asking them how they can benefit from these enhancements.
“Twitter is physically poised such right now that they will need to make some critical strategic difference to their product, otherwise with time they would lose value. At the global level the market has declined drastically, by about 15 per cent,” said Manav Dhanda, Group CEO, SAB Group.
He further said that Twitter’s new move is logical, viable, should serve the purpose because media consumption is becoming one of the biggest drivers for all businesses on the digital platform including social media platforms.
From a SAB Group perspective, the initiative is great. Dhanda feels that one can engage the audience better in 140 seconds, while 30-second videos are more appropriate for promotional purposes.
Echoing a similar thought, Sangeetha Aiyer, Vice-President and Head Marketing, A+E Networks TV18, said, “If Twitter is doing everything to go the video route and make their platform more suitable for video format, I think that is absolutely the need of the hour. If you look at what is happening in the social space, all content sharing is moved from words to pictures, from pictures to GIFs and to videos.”
Today the best way to convey a message is video as it allows one with a better chance of engaging audiences. Aiyer believes that it will help marketers in telling a better story and will allow for a more customized content.
Aiyer added, “Twitter is a very intelligent organisation on their own and I am sure they would be one up on these trends. With these initiatives, it allows brands and marketers to partner with them better.”
Giving a marketer’s perspective, Puneet Anand, General Manager and Group Head, Marketing, Hyundai Motor India, said the new Twitter tools give a whole new level of widening consumer reach. “We are always looking for new digital initiatives to engage our online customers and with the increase in the length of videos on Twitter, and the Twitter Engage tool gives us an opportunity to connect with our followers at a whole new level and enable us to widen our reach online,” he said.
Anand finds it imperative to stay abreast with the latest social media properties and technology to help amplify the connect with the online audience through innovative digital initiatives. He said, “Any opportunity to engage and connect with our followers online is an avenue we would definitely explore to the fullest.”
Is video an advantage?
The importance of video is becoming increasingly central to the real-time conversations happening on Twitter. Video tweets on Twitter have increased by over 50 per cent since the beginning of 2016. Video is also becoming a popular mode of communication as consumers prefer consuming videos more than reading text, most of the times it is short form content or videos.
Bedraj Tripathy, AVP, Marketing, Godrej Interio, feels that Twitter may have faced pressure from advertisers and content creators to enable video tweets. Tripathy feels that Godrej Interio won’t be able to make most of the latest developments as it was not needed. In Tripathy’s opinion, one does not have patience for a 140-second video to load and then view it. There are other platforms which can do it.
Sanjay Shetty, AVP, Brand Platforms, Asymmetrique agrees, saying that for video Facebook is the perfect platform. Shetty thinks Twitter should innovate on their strengths rather than imitate competition; each social media platform has its own strength and they should focus on their strengths. “All of them serve different purposes and as a brand we know which medium to use for what,” he said. Shetty also doesn’t find the enhancements useful for his organisation and clients.
On the other hand, Tripathy is a fan of 140-character tweets. Godrej Interio looks at integrating content in 140 characters to communicate to its followers. It is a creative process and that is what he appreciates about the platform.
A lot of brands are active more Twitter and they’ve been waiting for such changes. BookMyShow.com appreciated the flexibility of 140 characters announced over a month back. In fact, some of the brands feel that these changes are in line with the future of consumption – video. Hence it makes sense for Twitter to invest in such technology today.
As one brand marketer said, “All in all, we wish brands make most of Twitter’s services. Make most of it now!”