Twitter Expands Video Play Length; Instagram Hits Milestone
Twitter (TWTR) is giving its users more room to unleash their creativity, expanding the length of its video play to 140 seconds from 30, as it battles for viewers with sites such as Facebook’s Instagram, which Tuesday said it has grown to 500 million subscribers.
The Twitter change is designed to help video creators boost their audiences and make money in the process. In addition, select publishers will continue to be able to post videos up to 10 minutes long, through Twitter’s professional publisher tools.
“Video is becoming increasingly central to the real-time conversations happening on Twitter,” the company said in its announcement Tuesday. It said video tweets have increased more than 50% since the start of 2016. Twitter last month relaxed its 140-character limit on posts by removing links and other items from the count.The video-length change will initially be available through Apple (AAPL) and Android-based mobile devices, starting Tuesday, to be followed by updates Twitter for Apple Mac and Microsoft (MSFT) Windows platforms. Twitter also unveiled a new Apple iOS app called Engage that helps users track how tweets are performing.
The video expansion comes as Facebook (FB) is putting an increased emphasis on promoting video content at its own site and at its video- and photo-sharing site Instagram. As part of its strategy to make more money from video, Facebook has been methodically rolling out video ads, including on Instagram.
In its blog post Tuesday, Instagram also said that more than 300 million of its now 500 million-plus Instagrammers use the site daily, and that more than 80% live outside the U.S.
Twitter stock was down a fraction to 16.32 at the close on the stock market today. Shares are down nearly 30% for the year, as Twitter strives to recharge user growth. Last week’s announcement that Microsoft had agreed to buy LinkedIn (LNKD) for more than $26 billion gave Twitter a stock a lift on theories that it, too, could be a takeover candidate.
Facebook stock was up 0.9% at the close Tuesday to 114.38.