This is a good update.
Today, Twitter has announced that it's launching a new test on iOS that will enable users to play YouTube clips in-stream.
Starting today on iOS, we’re testing a way to watch YouTube videos directly in your Home timeline, without leaving the conversation on Twitter. pic.twitter.com/V4qzMJMEBs— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) March 18, 2021
Twitter's lack of support for YouTube playback is one of the more annoying link issues on the platform, with the clips sometimes playing in-stream, but more often coming up as a clickable URL, which the user then has to tap through to YouTube to view.
Providing a way to view YouTube clips, and stay with the surrounding discussion on Twitter, could be a great way to boost engagement, which could also have benefit for both YouTube and Twitter combined.
YouTube has faced various challenges in how it deals with direct video engagement, particularly around problematic comments. Back in 2019, YouTube started hiding comments on videos, while it also deactivated all comments on videos that feature minors in order to address concerns.
By providing stronger integration with Twitter, YouTube may be able to glean more benefits from related discussion without having to deal with problematic comments on the videos themselves, which may provide some moderation benefit for the platform (while also keeping those comments more contained within specific communities via tweet).
And there could be more coming. In addition to this, Twitter is also investigating ways to enable Instagram embedding within tweets.
That would open up more ways to share content with your Twitter audience. These are not major, functional issues as such, but small annoyances like this can create user friction, which can push people away.
By eliminating these small gripes, Twitter could stand to see significant benefit.
The YouTube sharing test is now underway with a small group of users on iOS.