It snowed here in New York overnight so obviously I woke up wondering if there were any good reasons to stay alive. Fortunately, as always, Twitter came through for me. The microblogging app which has been innovating like crazy this year in an effort to keep pace with more comprehensive social networks like Facebook, has promised to release its own native video player early next year. I suppose I’ll have to keep on living long enough to see if I love it or hate it.
Twitter has reportedly been testing an internal video player since late summer, and the company has been offering promoted video ads to its advertising partners for over a year. However, the new video tool is designed for users not advertisers. Twitter users will have the chance to shoot, edit, and share their own videos on Twitter. If that sounds familiar it’s probably because Instagram, Facebook, and of course YouTube already offer the opportunity to create and share videos within your network. That’s also the main premise of Vine, the hottest video app currently on the market and a Twitter property, as well as newcomer Ocho and of Viddy which is currently lumbering toward the grave.
Taking a lead from YouTube it seems that in the future every social platform will be a video platform. People are consuming more online video, especially mobile video, than ever before and advertising dollars are shifting slowly but surely from television to digital platforms. Everyone wants a piece and Twitter is no exception. However, unlike some of its competitors, Twitter owes its success largely to being a simple, single-function app. Adding bells, whistles, and video options might diminish the app’s appeal with its core users. It seems that’s a risk Twitter is willing to take if it means scoring a seat at the online video table.