Twitter said to be weighing up whether to put autoplay videos in timelines

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Twitter executives are said to be deep in discussion on the subject of allowing videos to autoplay in users’ timelines.

The microblogging service is divided over the idea, unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter told Adweek, with one describing it as “an argument that’s happening – a tug of war.”

The company is aware that autoplay video ads have been successfully worked into Facebook and Instagram, though at the same time some executives are understandably cautious about introducing an element to the service that could prove unpopular with users.

While advertisers will no doubt be very receptive to the idea of having their brand appear as part of an autoplay video, it’s not difficult to imagine that some users will find them to be an annoying distraction as they scroll through their timeline. And with Twitter currently battling to build its user base at a more rapid rate, the last thing it wants to do is rile and possibly lose existing users.

The social media service has already incorporated video ads into its service, so for some at Twitter the leap to hitting the autoplay button may not be so great. As noted by Adweek, Twitter earlier this year acquired SnappyTV, a tool that allows media organizations to quickly and easily share short video clips from broadcasts as part of in-tweet posts. Twitter makes money out of the videos via incorporated ads that play before the main action.

According to Adweek, Twitter currently gets a mere 2 cents per video ad view, while other social media sites are reportedly making up to a $1 per view. In that respect, it’s easy to see why some at Twitter are pushing for the introduction of autoplay videos, as the company could certainly charge marketers more for such a feature.

It’s quite possible the company will go with a partial launch of autoplay videos to gauge the reaction of users. Should there be any sign of a significant and lengthy backlash, it’s a safe bet Twitter will ditch the feature until it can find a better way of working it into its service.

How do you feel about the idea of autoplay videos in your Twitter timeline? Sound off in the comments below.


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