Longer Twitter videos, but who benefits?

Twitter videos have just got longer. Limited to 30 seconds up until now, the limit has been more than quadrupled to 140 seconds.

Twitter made the announcement earlier this week, citing the 50% increase in video Tweets since the start of the year as a key driver.

While the precise 30 second limit could be a source of frustration, especially if an extra 5-10 seconds would have been useful for getting your message across, it’s worth thinking twice before plunging headlong into uploading longer form content on Twitter.

The decision comes down to where you want people to interact with your core messaging, or what the objective of your video is.

The practice of a shorter teaser video on Twitter followed by the full version on your website - previously a discipline born of necessity - may still be a better way to go.

On your website, a visitor can interact within your ecosystem and consume more of your content. If they watch a full two minute video on Twitter, when they finish watching it, they’re still on Twitter and are more likely just to look at other tweets.

Longer videos keep people on Twitter for longer, which is exactly what Twitter wants.

If your call-to-action doesn’t require a visit to your website, or is just for brand awareness then the longer form of video may be ideal.

But putting longer videos on there just because it’s possible isn’t to be recommended.

So while the lifting of the 30 second restriction is to be welcomed, making full use of the increased available time is to be approached with caution and a with clear understanding of your objectives in mind.

Nathan Coyne
By Nathan Coyne