Ooyala adds Twitter card support, anticipates new forms of tweetable video

Video platform provider Ooyala is adding Twitter card support to its offering, allowing its customers to display videos right within the stream on Twitter.com as well as on any of Twitter’s desktop and mobile apps. Ooyala first tried this solution with ESPN, with the sportscaster tweeting out highlight videos while key matches were unfolding, and is now making it available to all of its customers.
Twitter officially introduced Twitter cards last summer as a way to embed media in tweets, so this isn’t exactly a new form of video distribution – but there were a few things about the announcement that struck me as noteworthy:

  • This simplifies publishing videos via Twitter cards. Video has so far been a bit of an edge case for Twitter cards. Publishers need to be pre-approved before they can publish videos to cards, which Twitter justifies with the need to make sure that those videos actually work on all platforms served by Twitter. That’s still the case for Ooyala customers. But  the approval will be a lot faster, simply because Ooyala’s player has already been tested and certified by Twitter. Approval should happen within a day, promised Ooyala’s product leader Brian Theodore when I talked to him a few days ago.
  • Those tweeted videos may need to be a lot shorter. Video publishers will have to experiment to figure out which media works best on a Twitter card, Theodore told me. ESPN for example tends to require authentication to watch its games online, so it wouldn’t have made much sense to tweet out live feeds. But brevity may also be key: “It’s not really the place that you are going to watch a full-length movie,” said Theodore. Instead, it could make sense to generate short clips specifically for Twitter users – and redirect them to a publisher’s site if they want to watch more.
  • Twitter cards may need new ad formats. One of the nice things about Twitter cards for video is that it offers publishers a way to monetize their videos on Twitter and within its apps without sharing any of the revenue with the company. But again, brevity may be key. No one wants to watch 30 second pre-rolls in a world of 140 characters. Ads may have to be “very Twitter-esque,” suggested Theodore, and maybe even be as short as 5 or 10 seconds.

Disclosure: GigaOM has a commercial relationship with Ooyala for the delivery of its video content.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock user [Mara008.