Twitter Introduces Autoplay Video; Will Only Charge For Ads 100% In View For 3 Seconds
Twitter says brands testing autoplay saw a seven-fold increase in completions of Promoted Videos.
Taking dead aim at the lucrative market for video advertising, Twitter announced today that it will start serving autoplay video to its users.
The move is no surprise. Given how well Facebook has been leveraging autoplay — to the tune of 4 billion views a day — it was only a matter of time before Twitter introduced its own way to entice more people to watch video on its platform.
With today’s move, Twitter is also displaying video larger within people’s timelines, the better to compete for the estimated $7.7 billion U.S. market for online video ads. Twitter autoplay will also work with Vines and continue working with animated GIFs. Like Facebook, Twitter’s autoplay will be activated without audio when a video comes into view on the screen. The sound will be activated and the video will display in an expanded view if a user clicks or taps on a video. In a wrinkle different from Facebook, if a user turns his or her device to a horizontal orientation, the audio will switch on and the video will expand to the full screen.
To guard against unexpected data changes, users will have the option to revert to click-to-play video or have autoplay only active when connected to wifi. And Twitter also said it will continue the click-to-play system for users with low bandwidth devices or in locations high data rates.
Twitter’s Standard For Viewability: 3 Seconds
Because of the shift to autoplay — launching today on iOS and twitter.com and “coming soon” on Android — Twitter is adjusting the way it charges advertisers for video ads. Shifting from its previous practice of charging by the click, the company will charge for videos that are 100% in-view on a user’s device for at least three seconds. That’s the same length as Facebook’s view standard, although the social network hasn’t addressed the percentage of viewability issue.
The Media Rating Council’s standard for video viewability is that 50% of the ad must be in view for a least two seconds. Yahoo announced this month that it is offering advertisers third-party verification of results, and Twitter said today that it is talking with both Nielsen and Moat to provide metrics for Promoted Video campaigns.
“We’re putting this standard of 100% viewability in place because we think it’s simply the right thing to do,” senior product manager David Regan wrote in a blog post. “If a video is not 100% in-view, we don’t think an advertiser should be charged.”
In testing, Twitter said, autoplay video was more engaging for users and more effective for brands. Among the Twitter-provided results:
- People were 2.5X more likely to prefer autoplay videos over other viewing methods (including click-to-play and video preview thumbnails).
- They have better video recall with autoplay. In fact, we saw a significant 14% lift in video recall over other video formats.
- For brands, during our autoplay tests we saw a 7x increase in completions of Promoted Videos.