Feature Friday: Twitter Video

I tried posting video to Twitter today. It works simply and easily.

I haven’t seen a ton of video in my feed so far, so it’s not clear that posting video has become popular with Twitter users.

But it’s just as easy as posting a photo so I expect it will become more and more common over time.


Comments (Archived):

  1. JamesHRH

    Classic limit of a product position – Twitter = 140 characters.Video will take forever to catch on, if it ever does.

    1. John Rhoads

      Why do you think video will take forever to catch on? Seems like YouTube, Vine, etc. suggest interest – would be interested in your thoughts.

      1. JamesHRH

        Positioning of brand. The Why that connects consumers to a service.Video is why YouTube exists & why people go to the site.Same with Vine.The Why of Twitter is following, 140 character headlines & links ( maybe to video, but to so much more).Video posts are out of alignment with the core of ‘What’ Twitter is & ‘Why’ people use it.

        1. Mario Cantin

          It’s about real time news now though. And people love videos, my Facebook stream seems to be mostly video nowadays. There will be a lot of them on Twitter too, just wait and see.

          1. JamesHRH

            I bet you a case of beer that there are a lot of links to videos, but not embedded videos.Payoff date of July 1st, 2020?I drink this in July: http://www.molsoncoors.com/…Although the last time I had it in a stubby I was sneaking it out of my Dad’s fridge @ the lake.

          2. Mario Cantin

            Ha ha ha, that’s too much logistic and hassle for such a small contention. Let’s settle for an “I told you so” 🙂

  2. andyswan

    This might be the most uncompelling product demonstration of all time.

    1. LE

      The resolution is an area of concern. I might have to retract my “good news” comment.

      1. Jess Bachman

        “We’ve seen the power a 140 character limit can create, and are excited to see what they do with 240p!” – Twitter

    2. reece

      @andyswan:disqus hahahaha… nailed it. of all the cool places you could be in LA, you gave us a quiet coffee shop, @fredwilson? 😉

      1. fredwilson

        i think Intelligentsia is one of the coolest places in LA. but i don’t surf and i don’t hike.

        1. reece

          @fredwilson then we should change that, immediately!

    3. JamesHRH

      Serenity Now!LA is soooooo laid back. I am surprised coffee has not been banned!

      1. awaldstein

        After a stint working on the tech side of the movie biz in LA, you may take a lot of lunches and drinks on rooftops, but it is anything but laid back from a business perspective.Nothing is more risky cost wise than a movie. Tensions, real ones, do certainly come along with it.

        1. JamesHRH

          Totally agree – the ultimate high risk startup town, in its own way.Probably why the serenity now thing seemed to fit.

      2. Joe Marchese

        “When it’s 32º in New York, it’s 78º in Los Angeles. When it’s 102º in New York, it’s 78º in Los Angeles. There are about two million interesting people in New York — and 78 in Los Angeles.” — Playwright Neil Simon

        1. JamesHRH

          LOL.Neil Simon had skills.

        2. John Revay

          I would add two more to the 78 number + Fred & Joanne

    4. Guest

      Someone should take a video of this comment thread.. “Someone is typing…” and post it to their Twitter. That’s inception right?

  3. JimHirshfield

    Yeah…just like the early days of Twitter where users posted what they’re having for breakfast, we’ll get noobs posting videos of what they had for breakfast.Oh, snap.

    1. Tony Salazar

      Videos on Twitter !!!!!! A delight for millineals. As Eric rightly said in one of the recent interviews.. these millineals can only do this … text text text eat text text text upload photo text text text upload food photo and now text text text upload videos ..Technology is working backwards for the millineals in every possible way

    2. LE

      Videos on Disqus.Here is how it needs to work. Someone shoots a video. They upload it to disqus with a disqus app. They can then use that video in any comment they make on disqus.

      1. JimHirshfield

        Just drop a YouTube video in here…done. Video, as a form of commenting, is something Disqus experimented with / researched, back-in-the-day. It didn’t stick.

        1. LE

          I can’t argue with your “it didn’t stick” assumed it was researched correctly.I will take issue with “just drop a youtube video in here…done”.To many clicks and requires a third party. To much friction. A good example of how, depending on how something is executed, it could fail or succeed. Separately I think you have to be careful with “back in the day” and how things do change. (Separate from methodology). Many old timers in business refuse to do certain things because they have been stuck in what did or didn’t work in the past. (And I’ve made that mistake..)By the way I haven’t concluded that the clutter of this would be good in all places disqus exists either. So in that case the friction of having to upload and use youtube is actually good not bad. Creates a barrier to entry for the pain in the ass bystanders.

          1. JimHirshfield

            OK, good points

        2. James Ferguson @kWIQly

          Surely video isnt a comment – its a medium. A comment recorded on video can certainly provide commentary – consider this. http://www.wimp.com/racismy

        3. Vasudev Ram

          There was a startup a while back whose whole play was video comments. Read about it on TechCrunch IIRC, and TC later used that feature on their site. Seesmic?

          1. JimHirshfield

            Before they pivoted

    3. Mario Cantin

      But brands will catch on quickly on how to use it for marketing.

      1. JimHirshfield


  4. Teren Botham

    It appears the color of the dress the lady wore in the video is brown and creamy yellow. Definitely not purple and blue :-)Hey, this is fun Friday so chip in

    1. Lil Pong

      Interesting .. how quickly fashion spreads with women

      1. Lil Pong

        lost pic. send again

  5. lindsaycampbell

    Implications are huge for news. Looking forward to seeing it in action in that way; not so much for slice of life stuff.

    1. JaredMermey

      vs. Snapchat discovery???

      1. lindsaycampbell

        Do the three question marks indicate incredulity? Snapchat discovery seems like a great product…both are great for breaking news. Seems to me both companies are still deciding what kind of media companies they ultimately hope to be and that their own internal focus will have the biggest impact on what we use each for. My unreliable crystal ball says Twitter for news/opinion, Snapchat for entertainment. Not to mention how differently they already skew for age.

        1. JaredMermey

          No, just excitement as I think you brought up a good point 🙂

  6. Tom Labus

    Coffee is universal. Philz Coffee got $15M!!?? What about the hot dog guy?

  7. Matt Zagaja

    Tweetstorms, text screenshots, and now video, all of twitters killer features are people trying to break out beyond 140 chars and are making it more like Facebook. The problem with trying to be like Facebook is that Facebook has the home court advantage.

    1. Ethiad Hussan

      Well actually the 140 char turned out to be a limitation for twitter so they are churning out alternate feeds. Which hat are they wearing now?

    2. LE

      Twitter is the defacto method for important or notorious people to communicate or respond. Just last night on NBC Evening News it was “Hillary Clinton responded on twitter..” and that’s not even entirely uncommon. So twitter has the home court advantage for communication of that type which gives it much more legitimacy. That is a hard bell to unring.

      1. Matt Zagaja

        I agree that twitter will survive. I guess I just do not find the idea of watching video natively that exciting. I think twitter could add features that play to its strengths. For example people use twitter to follow world events and television shows. Twitter has a rather underutilized “lists” feature that lets you look at different timelines. What if these lists were contextual and additive to my main timeline? For example I could have a “breaking news” list that blends tweets from my favorite reporters during a breaking news event or from television stars during an awards show, but then they disappear from the main timeline when that event is over.

        1. LE

          Not being a twitter user I don’t have a seat of the pants feel for what could be done to make it better. It would be interesting to hear what others think of what you are saying.Let me ask you this though. Why is it important for you to know exactly and immediately (as an example not saying you care) that Harrison Ford’s plane crashed in California? Or that something is happening in Europe with some protest? Or that a jet ran off the runway at Laguardia? To me all of that is entertainment and doesn’t change management in my daily life. So I am perfectly happy to get it in one swoop at the end of the day in the nightly news or in other batch processes.

          1. Lil Pong

            UFO ??

          2. JimHirshfield

            WHAT??!! Millennium Falcon, duh.#starwars #hansolo #googleit

          3. Lil Pong

            I googled it yo !. T’is what I gethttps://www.google.com/sear…

          4. JimHirshfield

            I got different search results. But thanks.

          5. JamesHRH

            That’s a free drop, immovable object, right?

    3. Travis Henry

      I think this gets at the crux of it. Twitter clicks because of it’s 140 character limit, and it functions as a clean portal to other web content (vs Facebook’s emphasis on content on the spot).

  8. William Mougayar

    Twitter: 15 secondsSnapchat: 10 secondsKik: 15 secondsKeek: 36 secondsVine: 6 secondsSo, what’s behind the maximum length of these videos?

    1. Jess Bachman

      Vine is the only example where the max length is core to the medium itself. The others are just arbitrary lengths based on not going too far from what everybody else is doing, imo.

      1. awaldstein

        Good point.I remember and was a fan of 12 second tv back when.Have the dubious pedigree of spending way to much time trying to bring video as a datatype into the mass market.

    2. John Rhoads

      Need to consider looping a component. It creates a “rhythm” on Vine that is important for success.Or in instagram’s case – time spent in product.

      1. William Mougayar

        Good thing we don’t have looping comments.Good thing we don’t have looping comments.Good thing we don’t have looping comments.Good thing we don’t have looping comments.Good thing we don’t have looping comments.Good thing we don’t have looping comments.

    3. LE

      I think that’s similar to asking “what’s with these flash sale sites” or “what’s with meh.com (what woot used to be) 1 product 1 day only until sold”.The length is not only core to the product but it is (and this is important) the “gimmick” that differentiates and makes people focus.

    4. Lil Pong

      What kind of names are these , heh

    5. LE

      Along the lines of my “gimmick” comment think of Fake Grimlock. Under what set of circumstances does it make sense for someone to act as if they are a dinosaur, speak in broken english and use all caps? And typically post only short thoughts or replies on purpose?Do you think that the person behind Fake Grimlock does that in his everyday life with his customers or his employer or when he is “making love”? He does it here because it draws attention and it differentiates.

      1. Jess Bachman

        Person behind Fake Grimlock?

      2. JimHirshfield

        I’ve met Fake Grimlock in person. He does not wear a dino costume, speak in short snippets, or SHOUT.

        1. LE

          I was able to figure out who he was “in real life” by doing some triangulation and searches. He missed covering up one good clue and bit of evidence.

          1. JimHirshfield

            LE MacGyver, P.I.

          2. LE

            I am just a very curious person. If you knew how good I was you’d be quite weirded out.

          3. JimHirshfield

            Feeling that now, thanks(?)

      3. William Mougayar

        I have seen him doing it in public too…but he was sweating bullets under his dinosaur mask 🙂

    6. Brandon G. Donnelly

      it’s amazing how long 15 seconds feels once you’ve gotten used to Vine

  9. Jess Bachman

    Variable volume controls would be nice. Not a fan of on/off only.

  10. Stephen

    Coincidentally I was just reading about meerkat on WSJ; an app that posts live video to your twitter feed. Story here -> The Back Story of Meerkat: A Side Project That Took Off http://on.wsj.com/1aLCoZK via @WSJ

  11. LE

    Good news. This might actually be a reason for me to start using twitter.

    1. Guest

      “We’ve seen the power a 140 character limit can create, and are excited to see what they do with 240p!” – Twitter

  12. ErikSchwartz

    VOD on twitter makes sense. This week’s hype about live video on twitter makes no sense at all.You’d end up with tons of tweets to live feeds that have already ended. In fact the whole viral mechanism of twitter does not really help short form live video.

    1. JimHirshfield

      Think revolutions broadcast live on Twitter.

      1. ErikSchwartz

        Leaving aside the technical issues of making live scale (which neither Meerkat nor Periscope seem to be working on). Conversation for another day.Single camera, handheld, unedited, uncurated, live video is very hard to do well. Take your revolutions example. Imagine 15 minutes of the jostling back of heads interspersed with shots of feet with a brilliant 4 second segment somewhere in it.Should that be live? Will anyone get through the 15 minutes? Or does the vine of the 4 seconds go viral and get retweeted.The problem with a tweet about live is that it’s a tweet about what you just missed.

        1. JimHirshfield

          Yes. Challenges aplenty.

  13. CorkageVIP

    The Meerkat app is definitely a more exciting use of Twitter for video in the few times I have used it. It has disappearing (snapchat-like) LIVE video with embedded chat. What will be it’s most popular use case? Pirated broadcasts of pro sports?

  14. LE

    This will open up the doors for all sorts of lucrative short form and possibly entertaining advertising.

    1. JimHirshfield

      Define “entertaining advertising” please. 😉

      1. LE

        Must see advertising. And I’m glad you asked.Here is one of my favorite ads.It’s for Bibi. Bibi sitter. Netanyahu.https://www.youtube.com/wat

        1. JimHirshfield

          Hahahah. My dad sent me this yesterday. Very funny.(And I like the way you used video in your Disqus comment 😉

          1. LE

            I guess the disagreement we have with having to go through youtube boils down to this. If I end up using youtube to showcase a clip that I took it will most likely be longer than “x” seconds. And I will then want to make sure the editing and the production is up to my standards. And at that point I will obviously not want to take the time to go forward because it’s simply not worth the effort.Otoh if I could just upload a short 20 second clip that is raw and only 20 seconds I don’t have to worry about production and quality nearly as much. Same way someone who writes a tweet doesn’t have to think about grammar as much and gets cut slack. Make sense?So if I am driving this AM and see a car do something screwy and shoot a short clip and can just hit “send” and then use that later somewhere that’s a very different from deciding how much of the 2 or 10 minutes I filmed should be edited and also whether I want to overlay any text and all of that.So the constraint of time along with the ease and lack of friction is what would make it attractive to me.It’s a bit like you making a joke here in real time and you deciding what jokes you will give at a standup event.

          2. JimHirshfield

            Reminiscent of Fred’s often made point about music: better to have availability then quality (in terms of loss of audio quality with many streaming music services).Basically, ease of shooting a short vid and having it upload and post is better than high quality production with lots of time and effort.

  15. awaldstein

    Great spot.

  16. reece

    if a picture == 1000 words, then a video == n,000,000 words?if average english word length == 5.1 characters, then how is video supposed to fit into a platform built for 140 characters… or 27 words?Twitter needs to split video out from the feed somehow… it’s a crappy experience.aside: Meerkat is the most compelling video creation i’ve seen ON Twitter. Vine is technically a GIF and yeah yeah it’s doing great, but it’s already assimilated… prediction: if Meerkat sustains their “Techcrunch of initiation,” Twitter buys ’em

    1. JamesHRH

      And yessssss Reece, the feed is not built for embedded video!

  17. Corbett Morgan

    i’m skeptical. the ease of curation point?…that’s fine. but each platform is so unique in terms of digestibility. i think stopping to watch videos works against the core user experience of twitter. i want to get through a ton of content fast and engage with the pieces of content that are compelling at first glance.such a high cost to click (~10 seconds to watch a video…that’s a couple scroll views worth of content for me on twitter). no screen grab in the world would make me compelled enough to waste that time. especially given how many junk videos i would have to click to get to one i actually got value from.

  18. Chris Voss

    Wait….people still use Twitter? lol

  19. jonathan hegranes

    Pretty obvious that Meerkat is what “Twitter Video” should have been instead of a copy of what you can already do elsewhere.

    1. pointsnfigures

      Exactly what I was going to say. Meerkat is filling up my Twitter stream, or the mention of meerkat.

  20. pointsnfigures

    Vine, Meerkat, other formats. Feels me too, but it’s something that they really had to do for competitive reasons. Kind of like when Facebook added check ins.

  21. Semil Shah

    Feels easier to just Vine something.

    1. JamesHRH

      Yessssssssss – perfect focus group response Semil!

  22. BillMcNeely

    I did not know #TheDress could be used as a shaw?

    1. Lil Pong

      Did you mean thedress won’t change colors when used as a shawl.#dress in a different style for charity in South Africa

      1. BillMcNeely

        In the freeze frame you will notice the lady with a shaw like garment that looks exactly like #TheDress hype from earlier in the week.

        1. Lil Pong

          Someone, I think Teren Botham pointed that already and you mentioned the same again. Check the comments below and you will notice

  23. falicon