Twitter launched its Video service back in January. Back then, we were like, “how does the company plan to balance between Video and Vine?” We have our answers thanks to a new research commissioned by Twitter itself to gauge the level of engagement between users and videos published to the social media platform. It looks like both products complement each other and have been key in growing Twitter’s reach and part and parcel of its long term plan of monetization as the company mulls introducing video auto-plays soon. A whopping 82% of Twitter users view video shared on the platform with 90% of them doing so on their mobile devices.
According to the research, Twitter users consume a lot of video content that comprises current affairs like breaking news and live sporting action as well as television shows on air. This is very evident since most traditional media organizations and new media outlets have all embraced online videos. CNBC for instance posts bite-sized news on Twitter thanks to the Video service. While this data is of the US market, many elsewhere can relate. Here in Kenya, football vines are widely popular and are shared and reshared countless times on Twitter whenever there is football action.
We can’t talk about online video without mentioning the big boy, YouTube. YouTube still remains the central figure as far as online video is concerned. So does that stop other platforms from growing their own user bases? According to Twitter, it doesn’t. Twitter users use the service to discover content to consume; content that was previously unknown to them. On the other hand, they flock to YouTube to search for specific content not to discover it. This is probably one of the best reasons why Twitter is investing in Periscope, its live streaming application, Meerkat competition aside.
Twitter’s peers like Facebook have benefited greatly from users’ increasing preference for video content as Facebook Videos managed to reach at least 3 billion views daily as of January this year. In fact according to Social Bake more brands are posting videos directly to Facebook than they are uploading to YouTube first then sharing the link to their Facebook pages. Back in September, Facebook, like Twitter today, admitted that a lot of the videos posted on the platform were viewed most (65%) on mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) more than on any other devices.