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Iceni Magazine | September 24, 2020

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What does Twitter’s backing of video streaming mean for the future of this technology?

What does Twitter’s backing of video streaming mean for the future of this technology?

Video streaming seems to be the tech buzzword of 2017.

Every industry is experimenting with ways to incorporate video streaming in their content. Video streaming has become an important part of the film and television industries as well the entertainment and online gaming industry, with online casinos using live streaming to improve their games. Now that video streaming has entered the world of social media, more promising potential for the technology is being explored. Recently Twitter caught up with the trend and announced their own plans to add more video streaming options within the social media platform.

Live Sports Viewing

Twitter has been trying to purchase the rights to stream live sports events for some. Last year they paid the NFL $10 million for the rights to stream some of the American league’s football games and they also managed to test live streaming some of the Wimbledon events. However, we probably shouldn’t expect to be able to watch all of these sporting events for free on Twitter. More than likely, broadcasting and digital streaming rights will still belong to the original owners and significant sporting events will still be streamed directly to the websites of such channels as ESPN and Sky Sports. However, Twitter in the future may be able to stream live pre and post-game interviews and replays. This way they can draw in fans and link them to the places where they can watch the matches live.

Social Live Streaming

Facebook Live has been a great success and Twitter’s live streaming experiments may inevitably lead to something similar. At the moment, many people can use the Periscope app to create live videos and post them on Twitter and in the past a partnership with Vine allowed Twitter users to stream short videos on their Twitter feeds. However, this year Twitter are trying to find a way of integrating live streaming with the network directly, so Twitter users will not need to create accounts with partnered apps and social media platforms in order to post videos on their feed. While video streaming on Twitter in the past has been focussed more on creating viral content – keeping videos short and highly entertaining – they have been shifting their focus to longer videos to encourage more people to take part and create.

Live News

As well as allowing Twitter users to stream live videos, Twitter is looking into creating its own channels where live content will be streamed 24/7. It’s expected that these channels will typically live stream events and news as Twitter Coo and CFO told news outlets “Our goal is to be a dependable place so that when you want to see what’s happening, you think of going to Twitter”. So, it could be the case that breaking news is broadcast on the homepage while regular news will be broadcast throughout the day, keeping people informed and directing them to important information and channels across Twitter.

The big question that has yet to be answered is how Twitter expects to monetise this live content. They’re going to have to find a way to attract advertisers and fit in adverts around live content – perhaps similar to how YouTube do this – which can make things far more complicated. The process of monetising videos on YouTube is complex in itself and last year saw many content creators having their videos demonetised for unclear reasons. However, when placing adverts on live videos advertisers cannot approve the content prior to it being streamed, meaning that many advertisers risk having their brands associated with controversial or negative content. You never know what’s going to happen in a live video and it may be the case that advertisers don’t want to take the risk. While this is still a tangled system, we may need to wait some time until live video streaming becomes an active part of Twitter.


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