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Twitter launches new video player, scroll inspired by TikTok

April 26, 2023

Social networks are increasingly pushing the video format. Twitter is the latest to launch the functionality to scroll videos, after, Instagram, Snapchat and the creator TikTok.

Twitter copies TikTok’s scrolling video player:

Twitter has not finished imitating TikTok, after copying the feeds “for you” and “subscriptions” it now allows to scroll videos one after another. This feature is available since Friday, March 31 and aims to create a more immersive experience.

How to launch the video feed on Twitter?

To access it, just click on the first video and go full screen. Then go back to your old habits that on Instagram and TikTok; just swipe up with your finger. 

Another option is to go to the Twitter search tab and you will find the most popular videos selected for you.

Is it a good idea?

Twitter is the platform to engage and start the conversation, users are encouraged to react to other users’ posts via comments, quotes, RT…

By adding a comment to the post, users can:

  • incorporate humor
  • Add a detail
  • Fight against misinformation, by reminding the context
  • React and give your opinion

But this feature, even if it meets the potential of virality, seems to go against the conversational strategy of the social network. 

And this is confirmed even in the format. Once the feed is launched, you only have one second to read the description created by the author of the tweet. You then have to make a choice: either you miss the beginning of the video, or you simply don’t read the video. You can still redisplay the description by pressing on your screen. 

Thus, the videos lose their context and a potentiality to be taken over by other users. The viewer is then locked in a loop with no “real interaction” with other users. 

The application exposes itself to a loss of virality at the level of real exchange between its users (pushes only to consume) but then why launch such a feature?

The Twitter scroll strategy

TiktTok has revolutionized social networks with its video format. It is the format that requires the least effort, no need to scroll the screen, everything is explained to us on a specific topic in a few seconds. The only action required is the swipe to go to the next video, no need to click on the next page. This is one of the main reasons for the transition from photos, written texts to video. 

One of the other reasons is that this format is much more addictive, the video, mixing more meaning (visual, audio) than a simple photo, is more engaging. TikTok’s usage time is 3x higher than Twitter’s used mainly for text (95 minutes vs. 29 minutes).

Whats the best social media platform for videos? 

The social networks with the most average time spent are those that use and push videos. Namely: TikTok, Youtube (74 minutes) and Instagram (51 minutes). 

Video seems to be the perfect ally of “doom scrolling”, this retention strategy allows to keep the user as long as possible on the platform. Thanks to an algorithm made to measure for you, which boosts your dopamine. The secret lies in the famous dopamine shot that can occur at any time.  A bit like the lottery, the potential winnings can occur at any time, which is why we have trouble getting off our phones. 

This strategy aims to make you spend as much time as possible on your mobile. The more time you spend on it, the more expensive the social network can sell its commercials.

Twitter has lost 80% of its advertising revenue since Elon Musk bought it in October 2022. And this change doesn’t seem like the ideal operation to make up for that loss of revenue, but we’re watching this closely at the agency


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