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Twitter timelines to get even more chaotic as videos and GIFs start autoplaying

Popular micro-blogging site recently announced that Vine videos, GIFs and clips created through Twitter’s recently launched video sharing tool will all default to playing automatically on the social network. The change is rolling out to everyone first on Twitter’s website and iOS application, with Android to follow in the future.

Popular micro-blogging site recently announced that Vine videos, GIFs and clips created through Twitter’s recently launched video sharing tool will all default to playing automatically on the social network. The change is rolling out to everyone first on Twitter’s website and iOS application, with Android to follow in the future.

According to a Mashable report, users will have the option to “revert” to the earlier click-to-play video setting.

Twitter’s shift to autoplay videos has been rumored for several months. Following in the footsteps of social networking giant Facebook, which began testing a similar option in late 2013. Like Facebook, Twitter’s videos will autoplay without sound until the user clicks to enable audio. Like Facebook, Twitter framed the move as making it “easier” for users to consume video.

According to the Mashable report, the deeper motivation behind such a move could be to gain revenue from advertising.

eMarketer, a marketing research firm, projects that video ad spending in the U.S. will grow from $7.8 billion this year to nearly $10 billion next year. Facebook and Twitter are now vying with more established video services like YouTube to gain a piece of that fast-growing pie.

Twitter will charge advertisers for a video view when the video is “100% in-view on the user’s device,” presumably not partially off screen, and after it has been watched for three seconds or longer. Facebook also characterizes a video view as three seconds — it now serves up more than four billion such video views a day.

“By introducing autoplay and taking a stance on viewability, we think Twitter is now the premier platform for marketers to share and distribute the best video content in the world,” David Regan, senior product manager at Twitter, said in a blog post.

That pitch to marketers is particularly important now to Twitter as the social network struggles to convince Wall Street of its mainstream user growth and revenue growth potential. The concern, as with many Internet companies, is that the latter may come at the expense of the former, according to Mashable. 

Last week, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo had announced that he would be stepping down, following more than a year of criticism from investors, to be replaced on an interim basis by cofounder Jack Dorsey.

 

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