It’s been coming for a while, but Twitter has today confirmed that Twitter Blue subscribers – all 650k of them – can now upload videos up to two hours long in the app.
As per Twitter:
“Subscribers can upload videos up to 2 hours long (1080p) on twitter.com and Twitter for iOS. Subscribers can upload videos up to 10 minutes long on Android. If you aren’t a Twitter Blue subscriber, you can still upload videos up to 140 seconds long on any platform.”
So a fairly big discrepancy there – just over 2 minutes of upload capacity for free users, but movie-length uploads for paying subscribers.
Which is probably as it should be. Though, evidently, longer upload capacity hasn’t been much of an enticement for Twitter Blue subscribers just yet, given that Twitter added hour-long uploads into the Twitter Blue offering back in December, and thus far, only about 0.3% of Twitter users have signed up to the $8 per month package.
But then again, when you also consider that 80% of Twitter users don’t ever post anything to the app, Twitter only needs to get a small percentage of active users to pay up and start posting longer clips for this to be of benefit, at least to some degree.
With the appointment of NBCU exec Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO of the company, Twitter also seems to be looking to make video content a bigger focus, with Tucker Carlson’s new Twitter show potentially just the first in a new series of exclusive video content additions.
Twitter chief Elon Musk has long talked about Twitter competing with YouTube for video talent, and maybe, using Yaccarino’s experience in building a subscription TV service (Peacock), the company will now look to actually enact this, and push video content to the forefront in the app.
Which won’t be easy, and the incentive really isn’t there as yet to get creators posting exclusive content to the app. But if Twitter can establish a new revenue share program – another element that Musk has talked about – then there could be a more viable path forward in bringing more viewers to the app, and building ad opportunities.
Though audience reach is not the thing that’s keeping advertisers away from Twitter right now. Twitter has lost around 50% of its top advertisers since Musk took over, due to concerns with his approach to ‘free speech’, and the content, and users, that he’s allowing to remain active in the app.
Advertisers don’t want their promotions appearing alongside offensive material, while Twitter is also allowing ads to be subject to Community Notes, where users can refute the claims made in them – which Musk also says has lost Twitter some of its big spenders.
With these recent developments at Twitter in mind, it may not matter if it can build its video audience – but then again, in general, if you have large enough reach, advertisers will follow, regardless of the perceived risks.
Yaccarino also has far more experience than Musk on the video front, and she could look to shift Twitter in that direction, which is likely another key element of her appointment.
Whatever comes next, it seems clear that video will play a bigger role, and longer uploads are another piece of that puzzle, which could help to shift user behaviors.