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Twitter jumps aboard the auto-play bandwagon

Wagon

Twitter jumps aboard the auto-play bandwagon

In a move that closely mirrors the newsfeed style of its biggest rival, Twitter is officially changing its formula to allow auto-play video ads.

When users scroll through their feeds on Twitter, videos will automatically play without sound, which can be activated with a click.

The change follows a trend launched by Twitter-owned video platform Vine that was subsequently adopted by Instagram and then Facebook.

Auto-play adverts could have a significant impact on businesses using the microblogging site. It means that video content now has the potential to reach a much wider audience than it did previously, and the coming months could see internet marketing strategies adjust accordingly.

Twitter has reportedly had the function in the pipeline for some months. Speaking about the update, the revenue and partnerships president at Twitter, Adam Bain, explained:

“We have learned just showing a thumbnail with a play button isn’t enough to entice consumers [to view the content]. Consumers preferred this video viewing experience on Twitter more than any other experience.”

However, despite Twitter’s confidence that the update will improve its user experience, not everyone is keen on the idea of videos that play automatically. The Guardian’s tech reporter, Samuel Gibbs, said people can expect to “say goodbye” to their mobile data allowances. He did, however, add that users will have the ability to opt out and switch back to the old click-to-play format.

The social network is likely hoping that the auto-play videos will boost its overall revenue, since its recently released Q1 results were “disappointing”, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Richard Bell

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