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Twitter in talks with Viacom and NBC to add video content to timeline, report claims

twitterLast week it was music, this week it’s video. Twitter is said to be in talks with Viacom and NBC with a view to bringing more video clips to the microblogging site in a deal which could prove lucrative for all involved.

Citing “people familiar with the matter” as its source, Bloomberg said late Monday that Twitter was looking into the idea of hosting video snippets combined with advertising on users’ timelines, splitting revenue with providers Viacom and NBC.

Bloomberg said Twitter could ink deals with one or both media companies by the middle of next month, with the San Francisco-based company also looking to get around the table with other networks.

Twitter has already had some involvement with NBC, working together at last year’s London Olympics to provide up-to-the-minute information from events at the sporting extravaganza.

The reportedly imminent tie-up with the media companies appears to fall in line with the microblogging site’s recent acquisition of Bluefin Labs, a firm that analyzes social media interaction with TV content, providing valuable information to brand advertisers, advertising agencies and television networks.

Twitter already has some involvement with video content. Last year the site snapped up the startup behind Vine, an app that lets users shoot and share six-second video clips. And last week it was revealed the company is moving into the music space too with the acquisition of music discovery site We Are Hunted. Twitter Music is expected to launch soon.

The hope is that by bringing more varied content to its service, users will stay on the site for longer, explore more of its content and connect with some of the on-site advertising while they’re there.

In a bid to generate some serious revenue, Twitter has for some time been looking beyond the 140-character simplicity on which it was founded in 2006. For some observers, however, the company is moving too slowly, with IDC analyst Karsten Weide suggesting last week that the company needs to think more seriously about monetizing the site.

“I think management could have been more aggressive in introducing advertising on the service,” Weide told MarketWatch. “They have been around for seven years, and only now they are beginning to introduce the first ad products. And even those are cautious experiments. It’s time to get more serious about advertising for Twitter.”

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