The good news -- Twitter is about to get serious about allowing direct video content within the feed. The bad news -- the video content will be advertising.
The micro blog's promoted video platform has been in beta for several months internally, and Twitter is about to bring all the beta badness to users' streams everywhere.
While users have always been able to post or click on links to video content hosted elsewhere, this program brings video content -- that is, advertising -- fully inline. The company's research indicates that direct video generates more views and more engagement than the outsourced variety.
For those that are dealing with Facebook's obtrusive video ad services, there will be at least one improvement that Twitter will implement -- the video ads on Twitter will not autoplay as the user scrolls on down.
The Promoted Video program will bring new tools to high-quality content producers. Advertisers who choose this method of promotion will be able to upload and distribute their content directly to Twitter. In addition to placement within the company's own Twitter feed, the video will be distributed to targeted users outside of the company's Twitter followers.
Initially, Twitter will only charge advertisers on a cost per view (CPV) basis, meaning advertisers only pay once a user starts playing the video. Advertisers who participate in the Promoted Video program are also given access to comprehensive video analytics that include completion percentage and breakout of organic vs. paid views.
So the goal, beyond generating ad revenue for Twitter, is what?
"The overall goal is to bring more video into our users' timelines to create a richer and more engaging Twitter," according to a Twitter blog post.
Twitter will be incorporating its Twitter Amplify technology into the Promoted Video program. Amplify is a program that converts pre-existing television or video content into a compatible format for Twitter. Twitter media partners can sign up for a sponsorship program that gives them access to re-posting content through the Amplify program.
Twitter refers to Twitter-ized videos as Twitter Video Cards. Each video card includes one-tap playback on mobile and web, video analytics and thumbnail previews on screen.
Content-providing partners can promote brand integration by having a six-second ad pre-roll tagged onto their videos.
Even before Twitter gets to shake its new money maker, the company's finances are on the upswing, after a rocky IPO launch.
In quarter two, Twitter reported a doubling of revenue to $312 million over last year same time. Ad revenue rose to $277 million, another 100 percent increase over last year's second quarter. Also, the company attracted an additional 16 million users.