Twitter is upping its video game.
The company announced on Tuesday that it will now allow users to upload videos that are longer than the 30-second limit it previously placed on clips. The new limit? You guessed it: 140 seconds, nearly five times its previous limit. In addition, Twitter (TWTR) said that “select publishers,” which it did not name, will still be able to upload videos that are up to 10 minutes long. But for the rest of us, we’re limited to 140 seconds.
“Video is becoming increasingly central to the real-time conversations happening on Twitter,” wrote Jeremy Rishel, the company’s head of product development for creators, in a blog post on Tuesday. “Video Tweets on Twitter have increased by over 50% since the beginning of 2016.”
Twitter made a splash in the social networking market by allowing users to send tweets in 140 characters or less. It was an easy way to submit a thought or memory without forcing users to read through an entire blog post. However, as time has gone on, video has become increasingly important. YouTube’s (GOOG) popularity continues to soar, and Facebook (FB) has become one of the hottest destinations for its users to upload and view videos. Even Snapchat, a startup that came on the scene long after Twitter, has become a hot spot for users to share videos.
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Seeing the video onslaught coming, Twitter in 2012 acquired Vine, a small startup that let users upload short videos online. The company quickly moved to make Vine and its six-second video duration limit an integrated feature into Twitter. Soon, the service took off and became an appealing way for Twitter users to share content.
However, Twitter is suffering through some issues. Under the leadership of its co-founder Jack Dorsey, the company hasn’t been able to achieve profitability. In the first quarter, for instance, Twitter lost nearly $80 million on $594.5 million in revenue. The company also noted disappointing user-growth numbers, despite saying that it believed better times were ahead. Shareholders, however, aren’t so sure, and have sent Twitter shares plunging 54% in the last year in the face of significant competition. They have called on Twitter to make changes. Video might be one of them.
Despite Twitter’s intent at the onset to keep Vine a short-form video player, even that service is getting an overhaul on Tuesday. Twitter’s Rishel said that the company is rolling out an update to Vine that will allow users to attach videos up to 140 seconds, like Twitter, to their Vines. Rishel argues it should help users create “a bigger story.” It might, however, make Vine feel more like Twitter’s own video service.
Finally, Rishel says that Twitter has also created a new way to watch videos. After tapping on a video tweet or Vine, users can watch the video in full-screen mode, and then see suggested, relevant videos below it. The viewing feature will be rolling out to Twitter for iOS and Android “soon.”
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One other announcement from Twitter on Tuesday: it’s now offering a new app, called Twitter Engage, that helps content creators connect with their audiences. The app is designed for creators to gather real-time data and insights into how people are consuming content.
Say hello to the new world of Twitter video.