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Sure, we already had Vine – a way to shoot quick, six-second videos for posting on Twitter and thoroughly weirding people out. But that wasn’t enough for Twitter, the social media company which today announced the launch of Video on Twitter – which is exactly what it sounds like.

A step-by-step guide to shooting and sharing video on Twitter.
A step-by-step guide to shooting and sharing video on Twitter.

Using your mobile Twitter app on either iOS or Android (sorry Windows Phone and BlackBerry), you can shoot videos for release on Twitter by going to the photo feature and hitting the red video camera button. From there, you’ll be able to start shooting video scene-by-scene, and even editing the order in which each video appears. Once you’re ready, you can share with your followers and boom – you’re a social media video auteur.

As of now, the Twitter app on my phone has yet to allow me to shoot video, so perhaps it simply hasn’t managed to receive the very latest version of the app. But like the Discover feature that Snapchat also launched today, it seems pretty clear that Video on Twitter will be another way for that company to monetize what has been a free service for its users. Users can post videos they shoot right from their smartphones – and, undoubtedly, brands and corporations will also be able to share their own videos (aka advertisements) as sponsored posts in users’ feeds. This is also a great way to stealthily snag traffic away from Google’s YouTube service, creating a new video sharing social network right in Twitter’s established user base. Pretty sneaky…

Will it work? To a certain extent, sure. Showing advertisements to users is always a game of cat and mouse – in exchange for giving users what they want to see, be it an article, a video, or a listicle (which is the worst word invented, followed closely by “phablet”), sometimes sites will plop a 15 to 30 second advertisement in front of their faces. Will Twitter subject users to seeing commercials before they can watch their friends’ videos? Or will they simply auto-run in your feed as you scroll by? It’ll be interesting to see what creative ways Twitter looks to use its new Video feature to bring in some revenue.

[Videos on Twitter]

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