Why does Twitter need its own video product when you
have Vine? We actually see them as very different use
cases. One being very focused on deep editing and creating these
amazing six-second videos. The other, Twitter, is focused on
sharing what's happening with your right now. And both, by the way,
post to Twitter. So for users on Twitter, they see all of it and
have great real-time native consumption of video. But the creation
is very different. The creation is actually where we've built a
whole range of tools, not just Vine and consumer video but for
professional video as well.
Unlike Vine, Twitter's video product started with TV
networks when Amplify rolled out in 2013. It then came to
advertisers with last summer's Promoted Video ads rollout and now
has reached consumers with the in-app recording and uploading. Why
Well we had a lot of demand. We saw all these great use cases for
bringing real-time content to Twitter from professional publishers,
from folks like the NBA. We've now got, I think, 130-plus partners
through Amplify, over 50% of them outside the U.S. and over 50% of
them not focused on sports. And it was great content to bring to
Twitter. The kind of real-time, just-happening-now content that you
couldn't get anywhere but Twitter.
From there, opening up video to marketers was an obvious next
step. They use the same tools. They're also professional publishers
in most cases. And we saw so much success, frankly, with those two
products. Users loved them. Engagement rates on video ads are
through the roof. People are sharing and retweeting professional
and Amplify videos all over the place. It was just a clear next
step for us to open it up to consumer video as well because people
love watching video and retweeting video on Twitter.
And there's of course different scaling requirements, so that's
something we've been working on for a little while to make sure
that we can provide an instant playback experience for hundreds of
millions of users, but also instant creation and upload experiences
for those hundreds of millions of users.
So far you let brands run videos as promoted tweets, and
then there's Amplify. But how else is Twitter going to be making
money from video?
Those are two great ways. As always when we think about
monetization, we are very thoughtful about the user experience, and
our goal is to create great user experiences, whether it's organic
content or advertising content. That's the tenet that we've held
ourselves to the entire time as we've built out our ad platform.
And it's why you see us average 3% or higher engagement rates
across the platform. Video is even better, by the way. We see huge
view numbers, huge engagement rates with promoted video on Twitter.
In fact it's relatively common for us to see advertising videos
that get retweeted so many times that their earned views are five
to ten times their paid views. I think Amplify has been a great
solution for us. It's enabled us to bring real-time professional
amazing content to the platform with essentially — as we talk
about ways to combine the platforms — with essentially a Vine
as a pre-roll ad. So again I think we've combined the best of the
advertising experience and the user experience where everybody
You have YouTube stars who have done well for themselves
on YouTube, but
now they're looking for other places to post their videos, grow
their audiences and make money. Facebook has covered the first two
but not the third. What about Twitter? What's the potential for
Twitter to set up a YouTube-like partner program where both sides
make money from the videos the creators post to
We very much want to make those users successful across Vine and
across Twitter. And part of success is helping them make money, so
they can continue creating the amazing content they create. One of
the things that we've been doing is connecting them [with brands].
Our brand strategy team has connected our top brand partners with a
lot of the Vine creators. That's turned into great campaigns on
Twitter, but it's also turned into TV campaigns. HP's "Bend the
Rules" campaign's TV commercial was a group of, I think, five Vines
woven into a single 30-second spot. We're looking to help connect
Vine stars to brands for monetization opportunities. I think there
are going to be other opportunities for us to do great things on
that front in the future.
When your team is connecting brands with the Vine
creators, does Twitter make money from the work that the Vine
creators do for the brands? I'm guessing a lot of brands will
promote those campaigns as ads on Twitter, but is there any other
revenue from it?
Nothing today. You're right; in many cases those turn into
campaigns that run across Twitter, across TV. We make money from
the ones that run on Twitter. But a lot of this is just us wanting
to help these Vine stars and people creating amazing content on our
platforms be successful. Today there's the team who's working with
brands and connecting them with Vine stars, and tomorrow we think
there are a bunch of other opportunities for us to help Vine stars
and in general great creators across Twitter and Vine be
What can you tell us about those other future
You'll have to stay tuned.
You talked about Vine stars and referred a lot to Vine.
But Twitter gives creators more flexibility when it comes to video
length. Are there also going to be Twitter video
Absolutely. Vine has been around for a couple years now. It just
celebrated its second birthday and announced 350 billion loops
since April. Vine has gotten massive, and over the past couple
years, these Vine stars have organically developed and become
celebrities on the Vine platform. We just launched our video
offering three days ago. I don't think there are Twitter video
stars yet. But I certainly hope and expect that they will develop
because we did try to create some really interesting video-creation
experiences in Twitter. That will let people do the kinds of
creative and amazing things that help them stand out.
You mentioned Vine's second birthday. When YouTube was
two years old, it added video ads to make money. When will Twitter
start making money from Vine?
Our focus right now is for Vine to continue to grow and become an
amazing platform used by millions and millions of people. I think
there are clear monetization opportunities, but that's not our
focus right now. If there's anything beyond helping the consumer
product grow, it will be helping those creators make money because
they're a critical piece of the platform for us. But our primary
focus with Vine is continuing to grow.
A few years ago
there was going to be a Twitter reality show. It ended up
becoming "Summer Break" and aired its episodes primarily on
YouTube, but before that happened, the idea was to air it on
Twitter and Twitter was going to handle ad sales. Twitter hasn't
had an original video series yet. Is that something you're
interested in exploring?
We'd welcome anybody creating an original content series on top of
Twitter. That would be fantastic. And I think we now have the video
tools, especially for professional publishers where video can be up
to 10 minutes, and the analytics to make that successful. So that
would be awesome.
What about there being a Twitter studio producing
original series in the same vein as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and soon YouTube? Would Twitter
want to do its own originals?
We don't have anything to announce on that front.
This might only be specific to Amplify partners, but
Twitter's Video Player terms say companies' can't sell ads or
sponsorships for the videos they post natively to Twitter without
permission from Twitter. How are you able to enforce
It's important for us to maintain a great user experience, and part
of that is understanding what content goes on our platform. When it
comes to enforcing this kind of thing, I would expect that it's us
looking at the videos that are uploaded. If there's a partner
serving ads, then we let them know they're not respecting our
I'm asking because a lot of YouTube stars and networks
are making money from creating videos for brands that they can post
to their own YouTube channels and often without any requirement to
give YouTube a cut of that money as they do with regular ad
revenue. It seems like Twitter's policy be would a way to Twitter
to get a cut of that money and could be an alternative to pre-roll
ads, especially for Vine videos. Is that something you're
exploring, getting a cut of the branded video revenue for videos
posted natively to Twitter?
It's an interesting set of conversations to have. I wouldn't say
that we've come down either way on that yet. We certainly think
that Twitter's going to be a great distribution platform for folks
who are creating branded videos.
The ability to embed video on other sites or apps seems
important. It's worked out really well for YouTube, which can also
append ads to and make money from those views.
Yahoo has made that a key selling point when pitching YouTube
creators on its video service.
Facebook's looking to make its videos more easily embeddable.
How are you thinking about embeddable video and specifically how to
make money from those embeds?
You're totally right. That's one of the key strengths of video on
Twitter. It doesn't just stay on Twitter. People take our content
because it's public and embed it on websites around the world.
Increasingly now with Fabric you see it in mobile apps as well. And
from day one, you can take tweets with video and embed those videos
around the web as well. As far as monetization, certainly there are
opportunities. It's not a focus right now, especially given that
this kind of video just launched a few days ago. We're focused on
growing adoption of the consumer user base and building great video
consumption experiences for the hundreds of millions of people who
use Twitter every day.