Twitter has made good on its promise to roll out a tool designed to share, upload and measure video effectiveness.
The company on Tuesday revealed in a blog post that it has begun beta testing a Promoted Video product following the launch of Twitter Video Cards earlier this year.
Promoted Video piggybacks on Twitter Amplify, which allows broadcasters like ESPN and Turner Sports to stir up social chatter with in-tweet video clips and multiscreen sponsorships.
"Promoted Video builds upon the Twitter Amplify program and brings a new set of video tools to high-quality content producers," wrote David Regan, senior product manager of video and TV, in the blog. "By using Promoted Video, it's easy for brands to upload and distribute video on Twitter, and to measure the reach and effectiveness of this content."
In what Twitter has dubbed a "native" video offering for brands, "select" content publishers and a certain subset of verified users, ads will be priced on a cost-per-view basis. The tool will include analytics for marketers around percentage of video completed and organic vs. paid video metrics. Twitter has opted to go the click-to-play route as opposed to auto play or pre-roll in order to enhance user engagement.
Twitter is in a video arms race with rival social network Facebook. The former acquired SnappyTV in June, a cloud-based video creation, distribution and measurement tool used by companies like Fox and ABC News. Meanwhile, Facebook has also invested heavily in video, most recently by acquiring video supply-side platform LiveRail and by introducing Premium Video Ads and new metrics to determine the success of brand campaigns.
"Twitter knows that they need to make moves against big numbers, so they can't do small things," said Mark Josephson, CEO of early Twitter link-sharing platform Bitly. "Digital video is growing incredibly fast and there is a big pool of money where there's not a clear winner yet. So much of what's happening at Facebook and Twitter has been around direct-response, and they've proven that's working well, but branding and larger storytelling is hard to do."
By offering more compelling and formats around "sight, sound and motion," Twitter will have access to more strategic brand conversations while simultaneously increasing its cut on CPM, since video commands higher pricing.
Twitter's revenue for Q2 was $312 million, a 124% increase year over year. The company has routinely tried to defend its user growth and engagement numbers, and this quarter cited 24% growth in monthly active users to 271 million average MAUs. Although this was still down from the 25% growth rate recorded the quarter before, company chief Dick Costolo said he expects two to three times that number to visit Twitter each month without logging in.