The favorite platform of journalists, politicians, and celebrities, Twitter has emerged as the hub for real-time discussion. When live events occur, it’s where the digital world turns to take the pulse of — and contribute to — the online conversation.
While YouTube and Facebook attract the lion’s share of digital video viewership and ad spend, recent updates to Twitter’s video ad offering make it a worthy consideration for marketers looking to influence the digital conversation as it unfolds.
Twitter currently offers two video ad formats: Promoted Videos, and in-stream pre-roll. Promoted Videos can be up to ten minutes in length, and appear natively in a user’s timeline or feed. In-stream pre-roll ads appear before a content partner’s video as part of the Amplify ad program, and are 30 seconds or longer in length. Both formats autoplay on mute until a user clicks, and a view is counted after a video is 100% in view for 3 seconds.
Conversely, YouTube counts a view after 30 seconds for skippable TrueView In-Stream ads. YouTube is phasing out most 15 second and 30 second pre-roll non-skippable ads in Adwords by 2017, in favor of skippable TrueView campaigns supplemented by 6 second pre-roll non-skippable Bumper ads. Facebook doesn’t currently offer pre-roll ads, showing video ads as native posts within the news feed instead. Facebook counts a view when at least 50% of the video is in view for 3 seconds — like Twitter, video ads autoplay on mute until a user clicks.
While Twitter lacks the reach of YouTube and Facebook, with 313M reported monthly active users compared to YouTube’s 1B and Facebook’s 1.7B, Twitter does offer a pair of unique targeting features, real-time and community targeting.

  • Real-time Targeting: By targeting users that are actively engaging with television shows or live events, marketers can ensure their ads are seen by relevant users that are contributing to the conversation — a capability that proves particularly impactful for sporting events or award shows.
  • Community Targeting: By targeting the followers of any given user, or by placing video ads on a particular user’s timeline, marketers can engage with networks of consumers beyond interest or keyword targeting. Through community targeting, Twitter allows advertisers to leverage networks of followers that users or influencers have already amassed — a tremendous opportunity for brands, as it unlocks the ability to target the followers of competitors, complementary brands, or influential thought leaders within their vertical.

What’s next for Twitter? As the platform where advertisers can immediately capture a focused and attentive audience during an event, Twitter is making a big push into livestreaming video. In addition to winning a highly-competitive deal to stream 10 NFL games, the social network has partnered with the NBA, MLB, and NHL to stream weekly games later this year. At Wimbledon this summer, Twitter users got an early taste of what that may look like, with live video of the tennis matches and a stream of tweets side-by-side. While the social network hasn’t yet revealed details on livestreaming ads, the nascent medium will likely offer marketers the ability to target a captive audience through mid-roll video and placements within the tweet stream.
By giving marketers the ability to shape the digital conversation as it occurs, Twitter video advertising is a considerable opportunity for advertisers looking to engage with their audience in real-time.
Through hyper-targeting technology, data-driven insights, and an expert customer success team, Pixability delivers superior media performance across social video platforms. To learn more about how Pixability can help you or your clients make an impact with Twitter video advertising, contact us today.