Twitter Video Ads Now Play With One Click

Quietly rolls out new format

Twitter’s one-click video is now open to advertisers and brands, Adweek has discovered. Twitter confirmed that the more desirable video format has been expanded beyond Amplify media partners who started using such easy-play videos in March.

Indeed, Burger King recently bought Promoted Tweets to spread a video ad campaign that employs the new format. The fast food chain has been promoting a mini-mocumentary about its viral character the Subservient Chicken. On Twitter, video advertisements like this one used to only show up as links to YouTube or elsewhere, but now can pop up in a specially developed media player that plays with one click.

Prior to the new format, brands were limited to using Vine videos if they wanted a similar one-click experience. However, Vine videos are only six seconds long, and with the new one-click videos the ads can be substantially longer. The Burger King video is close to five minutes long.

The new way of showing video ads coincides with a Twitter redesign that continued to push a more visual–some say Facebook-like–experience.

UPDATE: Twitter has said that the first advertisers to use one-tap video ads were Amplify brand partners, and the product is not yet open to all advertisers.

"We're keeping it to a slow roll out because we want to make sure the product is ready when we roll it out to all high quality publishers," a Twitter rep told Adweek.

Volvo is among the early one-click video ad partners, as well, and it recently bought Promoted Tweets that showed a commercial using the new format. Twitter first rolled out one-click video capabilities for Amplify media partners to share exclusive content, not ads. The format led to three times higher view rates, Twitter has said.

Amplify partners like the NBA sell sponsorships against their content such as game highlights, but in its early days the videos showed up simply as tweeted links without thumbnail images or easy playback capabilities. Watching those videos was a process, redirecting users to new pages.

In March, The New York Times found that the NBA was sharing one-click Amplify videos. Twitter never said such video playback would remain exclusive to the Amplify program, but it is now clear that it is open to advertisers, as well.

Video is the fastest growing segment in digital advertising, according to eMarketer. Spending on U.S. digital video ads will increase 40 percent this year to $5.72 billion, eMarketer estimated.

Twitter competes with Facebook and YouTube for video ad dollars, and all three are experimenting with formats. Facebook has been using autoplay videos, and YouTube has introduced more places where ads appear, sometimes directly atop users’ feeds as native posts in the mobile experience.

In Fact, Burger King used the YouTube masthead ad position, as Google calls it, to promote its Subservient Chicken video on that platform, as well. YouTube is mostly known for pre-roll style commercials that play before other videos, but it does have ad products that take advantage of the mobile feed format similar to Facebook’s sponsored posts.

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