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Twitter, Vine extend video lengths and hint at new video revenue
Twitter and Vine are extending their maximum video lengths to 140 seconds and hinting at new ways for the companies' and their creators to make money.
Twitter and its six-second video app Vine are both extending their maximum video lengths to 140 seconds. Vine is also starting to look at new ways to make money for itself and its creators, and Twitter has new a video discovery tool that could also open up a revenue stream.
But first the new video lengths. On Twitter it’s pretty straightforward: videos won’t be cut off at 30 seconds any longer. Advertisers and certain publishers working directly with Twitter can still post video ads and videos, respectively, that are up to 10 minutes long.
The new video length works a bit weirder on Vine. Basically the traditional six-second Vine will now serve as a trailer for a longer video. People will still see the shorter, looping clips in their Vine feed, but now they will have the option of clicking on that video to watch the longer version. Earlier this year Vine’s head of user experience, Jason Mante, said it’d be “pretty unlikely we would extend the length of Vine to 10 seconds or something like that.” In hindsight he chose his words very carefully.
When Twitter launched Vine in January 2013, its six-second format was its calling card. It forced people to get creative about how they shot a story and led to the rise of Vine stars like King Bach, Logan Paul, Lele Pons and Amanda Cerny who had a knack for squeezing a comedy sketch into six seconds. But when Vine launched social video just meant YouTube. Since then Facebook and Snapchat have entered the fold, and talent agencies and digital video networks have pushed their Vine stars to diversify themselves. Vine turned into a launching pad for its top creators to expand to other video platforms, bringing their audiences with them. Pons, for example, has turned YouTube into her primary platform because of its longer length, and Cerny has dubbed herself the queen of Snapchat, where creators can stitch together shorter clips into a longer video that can be watched more seamlessly than on Vine.
But longer videos isn’t the only way Vine is looking to hang on to its creators. The app is also exploring ways for its creators to make money from their videos beyond producing clips for brands through Twitter-owned influencer network Niche. In a blog post, Vine mentioned Twitter’s Amplify Open program that slots pre-roll ads before participating publishers’ Twitter videos when claiming that it has “a path to empowering creators with future monetization options.” But a Vine spokesperson declined to say what exactly that means.
Twitter also may have a new revenue product on its hands. At the same time as it’s adding longer videos, the social network is also adding a new way for video viewers to find other videos to watch. Twitter will now display a vertical list of other videos someone might be interested in checking out below the one they’re currently watching.
Explore more videos and Vines that are lighting up Twitter. Our new viewing mode will let you watch more with a tap. pic.twitter.com/XyBaes37T7
— Twitter Video (@video) June 21, 2016
That’s very similar to Facebook’s Suggested Videos product, which includes video ads within that list. A Twitter spokesperson said the company won’t be slotting ads within its recommended videos list at launch, but based on Facebook’s example, it’s easy to see how Twitter could add that eventually. That doesn’t mean that brands will have to wait for the new feature to matter to them. If people click on their organic videos, they may see other organic videos from that brand recommended, and the brand won’t be charged for those views even if they’re running elsewhere as promoted videos on Twitter.