Here’s a quick one – Twitter has announced a new update which will enable users to share live videos which will start playing at a specific point, as chosen by the sharer.
Did you just watch something in a live video on Twitter that you want others to see?— Twitter Video (@TwitterVideo) March 29, 2018
We're introducing Timestamps — a new feature rolling out today that lets you Tweet a specific start time for a live video, so everyone can jump right into the action! pic.twitter.com/vlUX8pWey7
As you can see in the above clip, once you chose a starting point, the video will begin at that moment when you share it. Twitter’s calling the option ‘Timestamps’, and you can use it on either completed broadcasts or live broadcasts still in progress.
It’s a clever update – part of the problem with live video content is that it can be quite boring, largely due to the unpredictable nature of shooting live, but also because a lot of people simply aren’t that great at creating engaging, off-the-cuff content. As such, Timestamps could make Twitter’s live videos more engaging, and more popular, as they effectively enable users to chose specific highlights, as opposed to having to direct viewers to ‘skip to the 1:38 mark’ or similar.
From a marketing perspective, the update will also help brands make better use of their live videos, as they’ll be able to timestamp specific answers to questions or elements within their broadcasts, which they can then share with their Twitter audience. That could add the utility of their live content – rather than having to cut up the video themselves, they can now simply add in markers to direct users to the relevant content.
It’s still a little unclear what Twitter’s game plan is with live video, with Periscope seemingly losing momentum following the integration of live functionality into Twitter direct. But as the platform continues to push ahead with its broader video efforts, live content will no doubt remain a key element, and could become a more significant consideration, if and when general video viewership increases.