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Twitter lets slip details for YouTube rival video service


By Seb Joseph, News editor

January 3, 2015 | 3 min read

Twitter has let slip details about its upcoming YouTube rival service that will crucially not support videos hosted on rival platforms as it accelerates efforts to extend its own walled garden for users and advertisers.


The social network has opted to keep plans for the platform close to its chest since it was announced last November. However, information has now emerged online that show that the native advertising platform will play a key role in Twitter’s charge to exploit the online video explosion.

Both advertisers and users will be able upload posts of up to 10 minutes long via a Video Publisher feature from their dashboard but will be prevented from editing clips in the first iteration of the service. Both MP4 and .mov formats will be supported as well as .png, .jpg thumbnail uploads.

Only brands that are signed up to Twitter’s Amplify advertising service will be able to include ads in their videos.

Importantly, users will be able to upload videos directly to the service, preventing the appearance of posts from other services such as YouTube. It is the clearest indication that yet that Twitter sees gains to be made in challenging Google’s dominance of the video market as it extends its native advertising offering to affiliated products such as TweetDeck.

Details of the service were first discovered by a Twitter user who stumbled on a restricted page.

Twitter first announced the video drive in November when it said native video filming and editing were in the pipeline. It has marked video as key growth driver in its effort to jumpstart stuttering user numbers over the last year. The micro-blogging site accrued around 34 million new users in the last 9 months of 2014, considerably less than Instagram’s 100 million in the same period.

Advertisers are set to shift more of their budgets to online video in 2015, enticed by better formats from the likes of Facebook and Google and the rise of programmatic trading. In the US, video consumed on any digital device will pass around 200 million this year, making up two-thirds of the entire population, according to eMarketer.

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