Twitter Introduces Auto-Play Videos to its Timelines

19 June 2015

Following Facebook’s success with auto-play videos in its feeds, Twitter has now introduced the same feature. It is not a huge surprise, given how much of a triumph this move has been on Facebook, where the site now gets more video views per day than YouTube.

Like with Facebook, the videos will be muted as the user scrolls through their timeline. By clicking on the video, the user will be able to watch the full video, with sound. Turning a phone to landscape mode will also prompt the audio to start and the video to expand to fill the screen. This change will apply to animated GIFs and Vines, too, and all videos will be able to be retweeted, replied to or favourited.

According to Twitter’s announcement, this change has started to be rolled out on the web and iOS devices and will expand to Android devices in the coming weeks. Users will be able to switch off this functionality, or opt to only auto-play videos when they are connected through a WiFi network.

Auto-play videos will feature in Twitter ads as well as its organic timelines. Advertisers may be impressed to know that Twitter’s research has shown a7x increase in the number of videos watched to completion via autoplay, compared to others.

The way advertisers are charged for employing promotional videos is also set to change.

David Regan, Senior Product Manager at Twitter, explains, “we’ll only consider a view on Twitter chargeable when a video is 100% in-view on the user’s device, and has been watched for at least 3 seconds. We’re putting this standard of 100% viewability in place because we think it’s simply the right thing to do. If a video is not 100% in-view, we don’t think an advertiser should be charged”.

For full accountability, Twitter is planning to work with ‘third-party verification vendors’ whose job it will be to assure advertisers that their Promoted Content videos are measured accurately and billed correctly.