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Will Twitter’s multimedia efforts pay off?

2 min read


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Social Media — tracks feedback from leading marketers about social media practices and issues.

This week, we asked: How you do feel about Twitter’s recently announced multimedia partnerships?

  • I’m unsure: 62.26%
  • I’m excited: 26.42%
  • I’m unhappy: 11.32%

Count me among the almost 6 in 10 SmartBrief on Social Media readers who aren’t yet convinced that Twitter’s multimedia content plans are a good idea. Twitter is all about bite-sized content. How does that translate to multimedia?

I applaud Twitter’s initiative in experimenting with video using Vine. But I have to say, I haven’t seen many six-second videos worth sharing so far. As a feature, it’s not totally without its uses, but it’s never going to be what people come to Twitter for.

Twitter has also recently announced a series of partnerships with traditional TV providers, such as BBC America, allowing for integration of second-screen content. This has some interesting business implications for Twitter, but I can’t see it being more than a novelty feature for most users. While many people use Twitter while they’re watching TV, I don’t know how many people want to watch video clips while watching TV. How many videos can you reasonably appreciate at once? Are they expecting people to pause their show to watch extra clips? Schedule their clip viewing around commercials? I suppose it’s possible, but it seems like a lot of effort for a small payoff.

Twitter #Music is a more natural fit for a variety of reasons. Music is social, sharable and it’s something that lends itself to multitasking in a way video never will.

But the fact remains that people come to Twitter to have conversations. These multimedia efforts are only productive if they actually fuel discussion. If they prove to be just another distraction, they may prove to be a sideline that Twitter comes to regret.