Twitter to Now Autoplay Videos, GIFs, and Vines by Default

Twitter announced today it is the latest social network to autoplay videos by default, following a trend made popular by platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Calling it a “more streamlined consumption experience for all native videos”, the autoplay functionality will extend to GIFs and Vines as well. The change will be immediately noticeable on the iOS app and web client, with Android to follow shortly after.

Similar to Facebook’s autoplay feature, videos uploaded to Twitter will begin to automatically play without volume as a user scrolls past it. Clicking or tapping on the video will display it in full-screen with audio. GIFs and Vines shared to Twitter will behave in a similar way.

In addition, videos will be displayed in what’s being described as a “larger, more media-centric format in timelines”, which has been shown to improve view rates in early tests. According to these tests, people were 2.5X more likely to prefer autoplay videos with a 14% lift in video recall over other video formats.

For marketers and advertisers, Twitter is setting a new standard for itself with regards to viewability. The company will only charge for promoted video views when when a video is 100% in-view on the user’s device, and has been watched for at least 3 seconds.

According to this new mandate, if a promoted video is not 100% in-view there will be no cost to the advertiser. This means a promoted video could fully autoplay in a user’s timeline, and it would be free as long as the video was not 100% displayed on the user’s screen.

This change could result in a lot of free video views for marketers, especially on mobile, but the company says it’s putting this standard of 100% viewability in place because “it’s simply the right thing to do.”

During autoplay tests, Twitter says advertisers saw a 7x increase in completions of Promoted Videos.

Twitter is in active discussions with both Nielsen and Moat to provide third-party verification of the metrics of Promoted Video campaigns, promising complete transparency to marketers and advertisers.

With the new standard for viewability in place, Twitter is calling itself “the premier platform” for marketers to share and distribute video content. Whether or not that’s actually the case will be proven in real-world tests when we see how a broader audience engages with Twitter’s autoplaying video content.