Twitter starts testing promoted videos in ad expansion

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Twitter said Tuesday it’s now experimenting with promoted videos, a move it hopes will ultimately lead to a boost in revenue as advertisers come on board.

Twitter’s promoted video beta test offers content producers a variety of video tools to help them incorporate and track the new style of ad.

Users of the microblogging site will already be familiar with promoted tweets that appear in their timeline, so Twitter executives will be keen to see how they take to the video alternative.

While another social media giant, Facebook, has for some time been making use of such ads, there’s one notable difference between the two. Facebook’s ads autoplay, while with Twitter’s you’ll have to hit the ‘play’ button to view the content. This is likely to please users as it’ll allow them to maintain control over their timeline instead of having audio-visual ads forced upon them.

The feature is likely to be a hit with advertisers, too, as they’ll only be required to open their wallet when a user actually plays a video thanks to a new cost-per-view model launched Tuesday.

Related: Twitter acquires SnappyTV to boost video content

Part of the deal for advertisers also includes access to a comprehensive suite of tools to closely analyse user engagement with the ads, with data on completion percentage and a breakout of organic vs. paid video views offered.

The new promoted video feature builds on the company’s Amplify ad program, which launched last year. Media outlets have used the service to mix short video and ads in tweets, with revenue shared with Twitter. However, with promoted videos, the social media company will take 100 percent.

In a blog post announcing the new promoted video tweets, Twitter senior product manager David Regan said his company had also expanded tests of its native video solution with select content publishers and verified users, with the overall aim “to bring more video into our users’ timelines to create a richer and more engaging Twitter.” Which in turn should lead to more revenue, naturally.

Regan said Twitter is “thrilled” to be testing promoted video on the microblogging service, and urged partners interested in trying it out to contact their account representative for details.

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