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Twitter Launching Video and Group DMs: What Marketers Need to Know

This morning, Twitter announced a long-anticipated video player and new group messaging feature.

The updates make Twitter a much more immersive experience, and give both users and brands more options when using the network. Below is a quick walk-through of each feature, and what they could mean for social marketers.

Twitter Video

Twitter video allows users to post up to 30-seconds of video clips directly to Twitter, and will not autoplay as many expected.


Given Twitter’s realtime nature, you can expect to see videos from live events and breaking news coverage start working their way into your feed. This feature is ideal for publishing companies and journalists, but this also presents an opportunity for marketers to create unique content in a variety of ways:

Leveraging Current Video Content: The video feature in the iOS app allows users to upload previously recorded clips, as well as record their own within the app. For marketers and advertisers, this is a brand new way of interacting with a Twitter audience by using previously-created advertising collateral (we’ll see if any Super Bowl advertisers choose to take advantage of this), without bringing in an outside service like Youtube.

Crowd-Sourcing Video Content: The ability to upload individual clips will also allow social marketers to curate user-generated content, but do so in a polished way that stays on-brand.

Customer Service and Education: For brands focused on direct interaction (think Warby Parker’s Youtube channel), Twitter video provides a platform for direct interaction using video content.

Promotional Content: You can also expect to see this service used for movie trailers, event promotion, product launches, etc. Twitter even tapped Neil Patrick Harris to help promote the new feature with an Oscar teaser.

Group Chat

Group chat allows users to…well…chat with groups. The most interesting aspect of this is that not every member of the group needs to follow the other members of the group. Only the member who invites a new member must be connected with that member.

This is an opportunity for brand marketers to conduct very targeted outreach to engage with users and their connections in a less public way. When a conversation needs to be taken offline, it isn’t always a one-on-one conversation. Sometimes it will involve more than two people.

In addition, the 140-character limit keeps social marketers from developing conversation threads with more than a few people. Group messages, however, allow up to 20 participants in a conversation.

What do you see as the biggest benefit of these new features?

Kevin Shively

I lead marketing for Simply Measured. Recovering journalist. My team is embarrassed of my hilarious jokes. Firm believer that the best marketers are the best storytellers and the best storytellers use the best data.

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