Live Streaming isn’t a twitter thing

Credits: USA Today

Twitter’s problem is twofold; user growth is down, and user engagement is down.

Twitter’s fix for this has been to adapt stories as some alternate for receiving news, and it’s increasing presence in live video. Stories hasn’t managed to increase engagement, and it’s been around for a few quarters. I personally don’t think live streaming will work out for Twitter.

For one, Twitter’s never really been a hub for video watching up until this point. Second, video numbers are easily fudged. Facebook got in trouble with this recently by marking a video as viewed just because it appeared on view for at least 1 second, but that’s a number that’s easily achieved, and doesn’t account for how much of a video was actually watched.

YouTube, for example, counts a video as watched if the user has watched the video for at least a minute. Twitter’s video numbers are easily fudged because when you select their hashtag they appear as the first tweet in a timeline, and are periodically regenerated to the top of the timeline as you load new tweets.

That said, since the video is visible in these events, Twitter can logged them as “viewed”, and thus present high visibility numbers. But, if were were to see if people actually engaged with these videos (unmutted them, watched them continuously for at least a minute, etc), I believe we’d find that few people are actually watching the live streaming videos.

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