Twitter Announces Autoplay Video, Defines What Constitutes a 'Play'

Josh WolfordLife

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Twitter is taking the plunge already taken by fellow social networks Facebook and Instagram. Starting today, autoplay videos are coming to Twitter.

This has been a long time coming for Twitter, which has been debating the merits of autoplay for a while now. Of course, offering autoplay video is a great selling point for potential advertisers – but many users find autoplay intrusive. Twitter has been testing the feature for months. Today, it begins to go live.

Videos, Vines, and GIFs will now autoplay on iOS and desktop. Autoplay is coming to Android soon. Videos will autoplay without sound, and users can enter fullscreen mode (with sound) by clicking on the media.

Videos will also be larger and more prominent in your Twitter timeline:

"Starting today, videos will appear in a larger, more media-centric format in timelines. During the autoplay tests we ran, we saw people engaging with videos in this new format at a much higher rate, and our brand and publishing partners saw improved view rates. All of this resulted in lower cost-per-views for marketers and increased video recall by consumers," says the company.

Twitter is also implementing a new standard for what constitutes a video play. Twitter will only charge advertisers when a promoted video is completely in view (not cut off at the top of bottom by a user's scrolling) and when it is played for at least three seconds. From Twitter:

As with all of our ad products, we’ve made sure that Promoted Videos on Twitter will continue to deliver high impact, high engagement and meaningful views for our advertising partners. To that end, we’re approaching how we measure, report and charge for video views with complete transparency.

We’re delivering on a new standard for how brands will be charged for a video view. Starting today we’ll only consider a view on Twitter chargeable when a video is 100% in-view on the user’s device, and has been watched for at least 3 seconds. We’re putting this standard of 100% viewability in place because we think it’s simply the right thing to do. If a video is not 100% in-view, we don’t think an advertiser should be charged.

According to Twitter, you're going to love autoplay if you're an advertiser – but you're also going to love autoplay if you're just a regular user.

Twitter says that in tests, users were 2.5 time more likely to prefer autoplay than click-to-play videos. But if you don't love it, Twitter is letting you opt out in your settings.

We'll see. I'm sure the next few days will see plenty of feedback from the Twitter population.

Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf