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Twitter Is Testing New Video Ads

Video advertisements: Coming to a Twitter stream near you.

Anthony Quintano for Re/code

Looks like Facebook isn’t the only social network moving forward with video advertisements.

Twitter announced a new beta program for in-feed video advertisements on Tuesday, meaning marketers can now upload video content and promote it to Twitter users they may not otherwise reach. The video ads also come with a set of video-specific analytics tools, an added incentive for potential advertisers who will want to know exactly how well their video ad is performing.

Unlike Facebook’s new Premium Video Ads, Twitter’s promoted video content will not autoplay in the feed. Instead, users will be able to watch the content in-stream with one click. Marketers can now buy these ads using a “cost per view” model that Twitter introduced Tuesday, and will be charged each time a user clicks to watch the video.

Twitter’s foray into promoted video isn’t a total surprise. The company already offers sponsored video content through its Amplify Program, in which advertisers pay to run a short ad before video content posted from a select group of Twitter partners, like the NBA. With Amplify, Twitter shares a portion of the revenue with the content partner, meaning the NBA is also getting a cut. With the new promoted video ads, Twitter takes 100 percent of the revenue.

The company has also been testing one-touch video plays and video sharing since May. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo also discussed the importance of video at Re/code’s Code Conference that same month.

The company is also expanding video uploads, which aren’t currently available (except through Vine), to more content producers and verified users, too. “The overall goal is to bring more video into our users’ timelines to create a richer and more engaging Twitter,” David Regan, Senior Product Manager for TV and Video wrote in a blog post Tuesday.

This is the same general strategy Facebook has employed over the past six months. Facebook has openly updated its News Feed algorithm to identify more “high quality” video and surface more autoplay video content to users. The ultimate goal for both companies: Steal some of the billions advertisers are already spending on TV ads.

Update: Adds context in paragraph four explaining Twitter’s Amplify Program.

This article originally appeared on

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