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Twitter Road-Testing Video Autoplay

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I hate autoplay, I’m just going to make that plain from the get go. I know that I’m supposed to be a millennial, but some movements just completely elude me and I don’t think I’ll ever recant. One of them is why anyone would want all their videos to just start playing automatically as they scroll past, the play button is your friend, don’t neglect it.

Anyway, if you aren’t me and have less of an issue with it, you’ll be happy to read that Twitter are testing the function on timelines now to see what kind of response they get. At present, it only applies to promoted video ads and content that went up via Amplify, the instant sharing service they’ve been touting recently.

It’s being rolled out on mobile platforms first, which makes sense, because if it can be properly optimized on tablets and phones, doing it for desktop should be an absolute breeze. The main thing they’re trying to determine at this early stage is whether users respond better to a full, muted loop of the video (as is the way with Facebook and most other platforms) or a six-second ‘preview loop’.

This all plays into market research, as is the way with most things, and what it’s always important to remember about Twitter is that they’re never not minded towards marketing appeal. Hell, they opened an office in a country where their site is actually banned just to be able to catch the eye of international businesses.

Twitter’s interest in video streaming has been a well-documented part of their DNA for some time, they own Vine, by far and away the most popular platform for sharing six second long videos of people doing Batman impressions and they recently acquired a start-up called Periscope geared towards sharing live video (although things got a little messy with that). Facebook have similar areas of interest and Google of course own YouTube. If there’s anything that really exemplifies the battle lines between these social media giants, it’s video sharing.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Twitter Road-Testing Video Autoplay Reviewed by Unknown on Thursday, March 26, 2015 Rating: 5
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