Twitter may be on the verge of launching a video publishing service. One, that some say could challenge Google’s YouTube.
In a story that’s been widely shared and discussed the last few days, Ingrid Lunden (@ingridlunden) of TechCrunch reported that details of Twitter’s video service were stumbled on by a Twitter user, curious about what might be at the url, http://video.twitter.com.
Twitter video FAQ’s stumbled upon include:
- The Twitter Video Player will host videos of up to 10 minutes.
- There will be no ability to edit videos or schedule them within the player — at least in its first iteration.
- Twitter Video Player will not support videos hosted on YouTube or anywhere else, just those on its own service.
I did the same and came across the below Twitter Video Publishing page, though I could not open the FAQ’s.
A Twitter spokesperson told TechCrunch that the FAQ and terms are in reference to promoted video services for Amplify users (advertisers), not the new video player that it plans to launch for consumers in the first half of 2015. Another spokesperson told them there is nothing new to share at this time.
Whether the latest finding is for advertisers only or not, an easy to use Twitter video service for all of us is coming. In November, per Lungren, Twitter announced that it would be launching a native video service in the first half of 2015 as part of its bigger strategy to position itself as a media platform.
From Kevin Weil (@kevinweil), Twitter’s VP of product:
Aside from just watching video more easily on Twitter, you should be able to record, edit and share your own videos natively on Twitter too. Alongside short looping Vine videos, we think you’ll have fun sharing what’s happening in your world through native video.
What’s this have to do with lawyers and law firms?
- Video is becoming a big deal. I am hearing an awful lot of 2015 being the year of video in social media for all publishers, which will include law firms
- Quality video is becoming easier to produce. The top of the line easy to set up Logitech video camera, at $129, produces quality video that’s far superior to what you get with the camera on your computer.
- Legal professionals are beginning to grasp that video is not about them. Like other content, video must be of value to the viewer. Information, insight, commentary or interviews of thought leaders/strategic partners/experts, if not something that’s likely to be shared by Twitter users is dead on arrival.
- Twitter video will be published and distributed more by the individual lawyer, as opposed to the law firm. Lawyers, as individuals, have more trusted followers on Twitter and will have more success in social sharing of video.
- Twitter video will be easy. Legal professionals, right or wrong, perceive that online video is difficult to produce and time consuming. The result is they don’t use video or find it very expensive. Twitter video, short on features and limited to 10 minutes, that’s uploaded and described on a medium we’re all used to using, breaks down the barriers.
- Twitter video has built in distribution. Upload video and its immediately distributed to your followers.
- News is reported on social media. Press releases and lawyers giving interviews to reporters with the mainstream media are becoming a thing of the past. Lawyers and law firms are responsible for reporting and distributing their own news. Twitter, already the leader in online news distribution, will be perfect for video reporting.
- Blogging lawyers covering niches will feel even more compelled to use online video to reach their audience and maintain their status as the leader in their niche.
Video is a smart move on Twitter’s part. Facebook is winning the social engagement and sharing space — by far. Twitter needs to retain its leading role in news and information distribution. Video can help Twitter do so.
Look for smart legal professionals to be making use of the Twitter Video Publishing service.
Update February 8, 2014: Word now is that Twitter’s video service may be limited to twenty or thirty second “recycling videos” ala Vine. This would make Twitter video less valuable for lawyers and law firms than Facebook’s service which enables up to ten minute video and has a built-in distribution network. See my blog post here on Facebook video.
Image courtesy of Flickr by Howard Lake