Twitter injects autoplaying video ads into iOS app

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Twitter
Twitter is testing auto-playing video. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Twitter is looking to take a swipe at YouTube’s viral video crown by adding a new feature that will automatically play videos in your timeline.

Starting today, some Twitter users in the U.S. on iPhone and iPad may see videos that start playing, whether you want them to or not. This goes for videos ads and users uploaded videos alike, as the company tests whether people are more likely to sit through a video if the action’s already started.

“We’re running a small test on a few variations on the video playback experience,” a Twitter spokesman said in an emailed statement to AdAge.

The autoplayed videos are being tested in two different formats. One test group will see entire videos played in a loop, while others will get looping 6-second teasers. Videos with autoplay can originate from Twitter’s promoted video ads, mobile users uploads, and clips from its Amplify program that gives companies the option to post pre-roll ads. Vine videos won’t autoplay for now.

Facebook added autoplaying videos in late 2013 and saw its video view counts jump big time. Twitter hopes it’s solution will also be an easy way to grab users’ attention and boost numbers. The company hasn’t announced when it will rollout autoplay video to all users, but expect to see it in your timeline soon.