Twitter wants people makingmore videos for its social networking service. So, it’s turning to a time-honored means of encouragement: money.
Twitter is now sharing ad revenue with video creators on its service, the company said in a blog post today. The split isreportedlygenerous: creators get 70 percent of the cut, while Twitter keeps the rest. Notably, those are much better margins than what a video creator can get on the world’s biggest video site, Google’s YouTube, which pays creators 55 percent of the video ad revenue.
But a 70-30 revenue split is not new for Twitter. The company has reportedly already applied the deal to past live video partnerships it inked with some big-deal producers, including Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League.
The thing is, Twitter needs to go above and beyond to make this offer attractive to creators. Its lagging far behind the biggest players of tech when it comes to a push in video, especially YouTube and Facebook. YouTube has over a billion users and generates billions of views each day, according to the company. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has publicly said that the social networks goal is to become a video first company, and indeed, these days its algorithms have been massively prioritizing video in itsNews Feed, with a special emphasis on live video.
Still, in a lot of ways, Twitter faces an uphill battle with its video effort. Since its founding in 2006, Twitter has gained only 310 million monthly active users, a much smaller footprint compared to Facebook and YouTubes billions. Worse yet, fewer than 140 million of them interact with the service daily, analysts say. And recently, complaints of abuse on the social network—as well as Twitter’s lax response to reports—have driven many users off the platform.
Meanwhile, both Facebook and YouTube have products that are inherently stickier and hold people’s attention for longer. YouTube is simply a destination for Internet video, with the average mobile session now reaching40 minutes. Facebooks News Feed uses your friends and family to get you to keep scrolling through its News Feed andget updates on what theyre up to. If a video (or several of them) happen to play while youre doing that, so much the better for Facebook. Twitter, in stark contrast to both these services, emphasizes a fast-moving, text-based feed that people tend to check quickly andmove on from.
Of course, Twitter is trying. Its begun offering users a new media library to let them schedule tweets and add fun GIFs and stickers to their posts (hey there, Britney Spears python). It gives people tools for managing notifications and multiple accounts. And it already owns some key properties to help it push video further, including the live-streaming service Periscope and the social media agency Niche, which it acquired last year. The company, which pairs its 35,000 or so video creators with brands, could be a natural fit for Twitters attempt to monetize video, especially as its live sports streams get underway. Yes, Twitter is behind, but it is at least still trying to keep its hat in the ring for the inevitable video wars.