Twitter rolls out ‘single click’ video play for Android and iOS devices

21 Mar 2014

Twitter has begun rolling out ‘single click’ video play – or inline video – for Android and iOS device users in a move to grow its user base, make it more sticky on mobile, and derive a new revenue stream from TV networks and video creators.

As it celebrates its eighth birthday, Twitter has begun rolling out a new platform for hosting video that gives iPhone and Android users previews of video in their feeds and the ability to play a clip with just one click.

Twitter has been working closely with TV networks and professional video creators to upload and promote video clips on Twitter and this week the National Basketball Association became the first to use the tool widely, posting live highlights from the Knicks vs Pacers game, according to The New York Times.

It is understood that the social network is planning to offer the technology to about 60 other companies via its Amplify video advertising programme in the coming weeks.

Killing two birds with the one stone

The move makes sense, especially in an increasing ‘mobile first’ social world, where services like Tango, Vine and WhatsApp are changing the rules of the game on a daily basis.

Currently, Twitter users have to click a link to a video and don’t see a preview.

The move will represent one of the most significant changes to how Twitter presents tweets since it introduced automatic previews of photos last year.

The fact it takes users three clicks to watch a video is believed to be a deterrent for mobile users to watch videos in their feed.

Twitter is under pressure to grow its audience beyond the current 241m active users and enhancing the ability to watch promoted videos kills two birds with one stone – users stick around and a new revenue stream is born.


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John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years