Q&A

Leaning into video trends on Twitter

We sat down with Ameet Ranadive, Twitter’s VP revenue product, to learn more about his vision for video on Twitter. 

Video advertising is quickly becoming the most effective way to reach captive audiences, especially on dynamic platforms like Twitter. We explore with Ameet (@ameet) where Twitter is placing its biggest bets in video and the top things advertisers should know about where the industry is headed.

What are the top industry trends influencing video right now?

@ameet: Mobile has changed everything — billions of people now carry around incredibly sophisticated computers in their pockets, and mobile connectivity is becoming universally accessible. Because of this, more video is being watched across more devices than ever before. In fact, mobile video consumption has increased by 170% globally since 2013.

People now process content faster (1.7 seconds on mobile vs. 2.5 seconds on desktop) and expect to see relevant content on demand. They want to connect them to the people, places, events, and issues they care about. Finally, the trend of live video is just now exploding and creating new opportunities for brands as storytellers.

In fact, mobile video consumption has increased by 170% globally since 2013."

Ameet Ranadive, Director of Product, Twitter

Why is video so important to Twitter?

@ameet: Video captures people’s imaginations because it’s such a rich medium and Twitter is all about delivering highly relevant, media-forward content. Consumers especially love discovering and watching videos on Twitter; we see over half of all brand videos posted to Twitter getting their first views within 10 seconds of being posted.

It’s also the media type that's growing fastest — video views grew 220 times year over year, which is crazy to think about. People also engage more with video content on Twitter. Videos are six times more likely to be Retweeted than photos, and three times more likely than GIFs. All this makes video especially important for brands because they’re an increasing part of Twitter’s content creation base.

With that impressive growth in consumption and sharing, coupled with how much sense video makes in a live environment like Twitter, we are very committed to investing here.

Videos are six times more likely to be Retweeted than photos, and three times more likely than GIFs."

Ameet Ranadive, Director of Product, Twitter

There are so many platforms out there, what’s unique about video on Twitter for brands?

@ameet: I’ll boil it down to two simple things that are most powerful.

Twitter is the most live, dynamic platform out there and it’s this “liveness” that drives results. Anytime brands put something on Twitter, that message is in a hyper-relevant, addicting, lean-in environment and gets echoed and shared in spades. We’ve done many studies which consistently show that emotional intensity skyrockets on Twitter and ultimately drives better brand outcomes versus online norms. It just works.

Second, brands tell us they really value our premium audience. We have over 800 million people come to Twitter each month, and they’re this influential, discovery-oriented bunch who are highly receptive to new content and ideas.

We did a study with Nielsen where we watched people consume content in their timelines, including brand videos. Some watched a video for mere seconds, yet they could correctly identify the brand when asked later that day. It’s this high receptivity that makes Twitter’s audience so valuable.

So what are the big product bets Twitter is making on video?

@ameet: We’re making serious investments for consumers, publishers, and brands. First, we’re focused on creating a more immersive video experience and building content recommendation features to increase discoverability of the great content we have.

For both consumers and publishers, we’re lowering barriers to video creation by rethinking length restrictions and offering more tools to create and edit videos.

For brands, we’re creating more video opportunities and making it easier to integrate video into campaigns. We started about two years ago with Promoted Video, enabling videos to be shared within Tweets.

We’ve built on this with solutions like pre-roll ads that allow brands to align with content from premium Amplify partners including BuzzFeed, Time, and Fox Sports. I’m also really excited that we’re testing better planning and targeting tools for brands. One of our biggest bets is introducing reach and frequency buying, which will make it much easier for video buyers to buy and plan on Twitter in the same way they do on other platforms.

Another goal is to grow the canvas of formats for brands to tell their stories. Last year, we launched conversational video and ScratchReels where media becomes an interaction point with consumers. We’re also surfacing more Periscope content directly on Twitter. One recent offering I’m especially excited about is First View. It’s basically Twitter’s homepage takeover, centered around video. We were blown away by the increase in the amazing content these formats inspire on Twitter.

What about results?

@ameet: We also know how important measurement is to marketers, so we want to make it easy to prove that video ads work on Twitter. We have full integrations now with Nielsen DAR and Moat. I love our brand survey capability that makes it simple to measure brand metrics before and after a campaign. We want to do more of this to continually prove the value of video on Twitter.

I’m also really excited that we’re testing better planning and targeting tools for brands. One of our biggest bets is introducing reach and frequency buying, which will make it much easier for video buyers to buy and plan on Twitter in the same way they do on other platforms.

How has the way people watch and engage with video changed?

@ameet: That's the coolest part. On Twitter we see people consume video all the time, and everywhere. 92% of Twitter video views happen on mobile — when people are on-the-go, wanting to be entertained, or in the mood to connect to a shared experience.

Take the Oscars this year. Even though TV viewership was one of the lowest in recent years, there were 44,000 Tweets per minute as Leonardo DiCaprio won his Oscar. People were following the show on Twitter, watching video highlights, and sharing reactions. This consumption pattern happens on Twitter every day.

Engagement like this happens with branded content too. T-Mobile ran a really fun ad featuring the singer Drake. Days before it aired on TV, they shared it on Twitter via a Promoted Video. The video has to date received over 27,000 Retweets and 42,000 likes. Maybe it started with followers of T-Mobile and fans of Drake, but the video was Retweeted across networks of influential people, and more people joined the conversation outside of those immediate groups. Think about that, an ad getting this kind of earned media. That’s brand advocacy at its finest and it doesn’t happen at this scale anywhere else.

92% of Twitter video views happen on mobile — when people are on-the-go, wanting to be entertained, or in the mood to connect to a shared experience."

Ameet Ranadive, Director of Product, Twitter

What’s a video you recently discovered and love on Twitter?

@ameet: I love this video of @StephenCurry30 making the game-winning shot — in overtime no less — against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The play resulted in this Tweet from LeBron James himself. As all this was happening, people could witness and actually join that conversation on Twitter.

I love this moment, and I really love how it shows the way people engage, share, and come together on Twitter around what’s happening in the world.