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twitter video length

Tips to Leverage Twitter Video Length and other Video News

Make no mistake, social media platforms are increasingly focusing on video over all other forms of content. Twitter, the place for all things “live” announced major changes to their video product this week, among which: updates to Twitter video length.

But what does it all add up to, and what’s the best approach for your organization when it comes to video and Twitter?

Here’s what you need to know.

By 2018, it’s estimated that video content will make up 69% of all traffic, and Facebook, who have gone all-in on video, recently claimed that they expect their platform to be all video in five years time.

1.) UPLOAD LONGER VIDEOS: MAX LENGTH FOR VIDEOS IS NOW 140 SECONDS

Among the changes to Twitter’s video capabilities, perhaps the biggest is the lifting of the max video length on Twitter’s mobile app and desktop portal from 30 seconds to 140 seconds.

This reaffirms Twitter’s commitment to the magic number “140” and provides organizations with more flexibility when it comes to their content.

But did you know that you can already upload up to 10 minutes of video in a single tweet?

All you need to do is log in via www.twitter.com on your desktop or laptop, head to ads.twitter.com and place a credit card on file (don’t worry, you won’t need to use it). Then, continue to the ads dashboard and use the “Creatives” drop-down to select “Videos.”

twitter video length: upload longer twitter videos

Here, you can upload, store and tweet out long form videos, complete with custom thumbnails and overlaid call-to-action buttons. But while it’s great to have the option when a lengthy video is all you have at your disposal, it does beg the question: should I tweet long videos in the first place? There’s no hard-and-fast rule, but it is important to keep your audience in mind—what’s their appetite for long video content?—and recognize that Twitter is a platform that thrives on brevity.

What does it mean for digital marketers?

Consider length. There are cases where mission-oriented organizations can captivate audiences with longer films. Be careful, though, because a long video can muddle the message and lose the viewer. Consider each situation before committing to a length and, when possible, publish various lengths or “cuts” of the same piece over time to see what resonates with your following.

Did you also know that you can schedule native Twitter video content in advance? Here’s a handy hack that will help you schedule out clips on Social Studio, Sprout Social, Hootsuite and other social media tools, even when they don’t technically support video scheduling.

2.) THERE’S A NEW WAY TO VIEW VIDEO ON TWITTER

Twitter also announced a new viewing mode for videos that allows users to easily continue watching more video content once they’ve started.

It’s commonly called “lightbox view,” and it’s something that Facebook has been playing around with for awhile as a way to drive more views and longer Time Spent on Platform by autoplaying additional content from the same or different publishers. This much is clear: there’s a war for our attention among all the social and mobile apps at our fingertips, and features such as this, along with other addictive features like Moments, make Twitter more competitive and its content stickier.

What does it mean for digital marketers?

While historically, Twitter content appears and disappears like a flash in the pan—unless it really catches fire—changes like lightbox and the “while you were away” feature signal that the platform wants to give your content a longer shelf life and a bigger potential audience. Be mindful of this new long tail and position your content appropriately.

3.) TWITTER BUILT A SEPARATE APP FOR VIPS

In a move that was long overdue, Twitter launched Engage, a mobile app for its most popular users that creates a more seamless and streamlined way to connect with their large audience. It’s similar to Mentions, an app Facebook developed to court notable names so they might adopt the platform publicly. Given that one of Twitter’s greatest strengths is its high concentration of well-known people—it’s part of what makes the user experience great—it’s a welcome addition for the health of the platform.

What does it mean for digital marketers?

If your nonprofit, foundation or social enterprise includes well-known public figures, it’s a great opportunity to onboard. If they’re already active on Twitter, it may be a way to get them to post even more often, since they can more easily see the impact their messages create.

4.) YOUR SIX-SECOND VINES JUST GOT A WHOLE LOT LONGER

To cap it all off, Twitter’s Vine announced they are experimenting with longer video on the famously six-second-only app. While each vine will still retain its original length, users will now start to see a “watch more” button in the lower right corner that enables a longer, 140 second-or-less video on select vines. In a deftly worded announcement on Medium, Vine presented the news as a response to the platform’s power users, who said they wanted a way to connect with their following over long form content without having to point to another outlet (presumably YouTube).

What does it mean for digital marketers?

If you’re a nonprofit organization or social enterprise that has explored with Vine, this change will allow you to supplement your creations with longer form content that could help punctuate your message. Instead of repurposing old spots, aim to create true extensions that speak directly to Vine’s highly inventive user base. And if you have an especially compelling video that happens to be over 140 seconds, you can employ the same hack I mentioned above to bump up that limit to 10 minutes by becoming a registered advertising partner.

There you have it!

Now you’re up to speed on the latest changes to video on Twitter. I encourage you to approach these new changes with your supporters in mind. Longer doesn’t always mean better, and quality trumps quantity. Take advantage of the newfound functionality at your disposal, but don’t lose sight of what’s right for your cause and why your supporters chose to support you in the first place. And when in doubt, give us a call or stop by for coffee!

Luke Dringoli

luke@mediacause.org
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