Elon Musk recently promised that new Twitter video updates would be coming through thick and fast, and he’s definitely holding true to this, with two new video updates now being rolled out to Twitter users.
First off, Twitter’s long-awaited picture-in-picture (PiP) playback window is now active on all platforms, enabling you to keep viewing a video clip as you scroll through the app.
That’ll make it easier to multitask in-stream, as opposed to, say, watching on your TV screen while also scrolling through tweets. Which could also help Twitter enhance its value as a singular entertainment and information solution, as opposed to being, traditionally, a supplementary element.
I mean, in many cases Twitter’s already the primary source of attention for users throughout the day. But while ‘second-screening’ has been a key trend among Twitter users for years, Twitter has never been able to effectively tap into this behavior, and maximize user engagement based on multiple inputs.
Twitter has tried different ways to integrate video content with tweets, in the hopes of merging the two, and becoming a more ubiquitous single platform.
But while the concept of viewing tweets and streaming content on a single screen does appear to make sense, in general, users have thus far been more aligned with traditional discovery and consumption behaviors, and using Twitter in-between, in ad and game breaks.
If there is a way to merge the two, that could indeed make Twitter a more valuable platform, and picture-in-picture could be one way to make this a reality. And maybe now, users will actually be more receptive to having multiple feeds on screen – especially when you also consider the rise of trends like ‘sludge’ clips on TikTok, which present various moving parts within a single display.
In the past, this may have been overwhelming, given our alignment to singular video feeds being presented to us, via a TV or movie screen. But maybe now, consumption behaviors have shifted enough that users will actually be more open to the PiP display, and it could resonate stronger with Twitter users.
Twitter will certainly be hoping so, given that it’ll be looking to make video content more of a focus under incoming CEO Linda Yaccarino. Yaccarino’s experience is in TV streaming, and it seems that this is the direction that Twitter’s now heading in, with Tucker Carlson’s new Twitter exclusive show set to be the first cab of the rank in this new push.
Becoming more of a hub for all sorts of news and entertainment could be a more viable growth path for Twitter to follow – especially if it can convince news outlets to start broadcasting directly to the app. And with the next US election cycle coming up, that could help to enhance the focus on the platform, and get more users spending more time on the app.
On another front, Twitter’s also now experimenting with a native video download option on the app.
Many users have been requesting this for some time, and again, with Twitter set to put more focus on video content, this could be another valuable addition to its presentation and production pipeline.
In isolation, each of these updates – along with variable playback speed controls and 1080p uploads – may seem relatively minor, while the way in which Twitter’s rolling them out, without fanfare, could also minimize their potential impact. But collectively, Twitter’s making significant investments into improving its video service, which, as noted, looks set to become a key element of the next stage of Elon’s Twitter 2.0 push.