People dig Twitter. I used to not ‘get’ its appeal, but now I understand: you can learn what your tech-savvy uncle had for lunch, effectively market a product, or just laugh at your favorite feeds (the debates would not have been nearly as funny without @SilentJimLehrer, and that’s a FACT.) However, despite the fact that everyone loves it, Twitter can’t make money. Could taking control of video posted to the website be the solution Twitter is looking for? The social media giant is considering adding its own in-house video service, wresting power away from third party companies such as TwitVid.
This change would make sense for Twitter for several reasons. By the current setup, it is third parties, and not Twitter, who make ad revenue from videos posted to the site. What worsens the problem, as this exhaustive article notes, is that users often conflate the third-party apps with Twitter, and complain to Twitter directly when something on TwitVid gets changed or doesn’t work. Therefore, Twitter has to deal with the negatives of the video services it supports without getting to reap any of the benefits.
In addition, video hosting is a great way to get extra reach and revenue out of a large social media user base. Just a few years after Facebook launched its homegrown video hosting service, it rose to second place in comScore’s rankings as users watched over 1.2 billion minutes of video in one month alone. Though Facebook has since fallen back to earth a little bit, users still watched over 768 million minutes in August, according to the newest com Score rankings. If Twitter can use a first-party platform to drive even a fraction of this engagement (and, given its huge user base, it certainly can), it can easily turn the time people spend on Twitter into cold, hard $$$.
This is still just a rumor, but it definitely seems like something Twitter should go through with ASAP. This solution would only factor in content from other video sharing sites, but perhaps down the road Twitter will even work its way into the premium content space; it already has lots of neat stuff on its YouTube channel.