YouTube adds ‘Twitter’ button to boost video sharing

27 Mar 2009

The infectious spread of Twitter continues with video-sharing giant YouTube adding a Twitter tab alongside Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and Digg.

When you want to share a video you like on YouTube, you simply hit ‘share’ below the video box and a number of options present themselves, whether you want to share it with your friends on Facebook, or Digg it as a story with merit.

But now you can also share it with followers on Twitter, one of the fastest-growing social media sites on earth.

Once you’ve chosen to share the video on YouTube via Twitter, a message appears as a Twitter Post with the words ‘Check this video out’, followed by a Tiny URL linking to the YouTube video page.

As the social-media world debates possible commercial models for Twitter, the ability to drive traffic to YouTube could signal one possible direction, with implications for advertisers and media houses.

Twitter is a micro-blogging service that allows you to say what you’re doing at any time within 140 characters.

It’s addictive nature and ability to work on mobile devices has spawned a massive following and various offshoot complementary services that include Twittervision, which provides a global map presenting Tweets as they happen worldwide, and Tweetie, a full-feature Twitter client for the iPhone and iPod touch.

According to IT analyst Forrester, Twitter has between four and five million users and has attracted the attention of news houses such as BBC, RTE, the Guardian, the Irish Times and celebrities such as Stephen Fry. NASA also used the service to broadcast the discovery of water on Mars.

Twitter’s potential as a news disseminator was revealed in January when US Airways Flight 1549 ditched in the Hudson River in New York following a bird strike, and an estimated 80 ‘Tweets’ were also sent every five seconds during the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

By John Kennedy