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The real proof online video is the future of the Internet

vine twitter togetherAbout four years ago I worked briefly with someone who believed the Internet would be all video by now. Not just in terms of bandwidth percentages, but that every website would be 100% video with nary a bit of text in sight. I disagreed with him then, and now, but he was probably more right than he was wrong.

If you follow online streaming news or blogs, you’ve probably noticed there is a virtually constant stream of statistics showing how video is taking over the web. But for me, the stats alone are interesting, but when businesses start making decisions around video – that’s the proof of how important it has become.

That’s especially true when the business is a giant like Twitter. A couple of years ago it purchased Vine, the company that let people stream short, six second long videos. In January, it extended the video length available to share on Twitter to 30 seconds.

On April 18th they sent out an email announcing two “new” features. One allows you to capture, edit and share video directly in the Twitter app. The second one was the launch of Periscope. That’s another company they bought just a short while ago that lets you stream live video on your iPhone. The app is integrated with Twitter in that you can let your followers instantly know you’re sending video. Periscope is separate from the Twitter app though, so viewers need to have Periscope accounts if they want to interact with you when you’re streaming – one of the cool differentiators of Periscope. Twitter users can still watch your video though.

Reviews of Periscope say it’s pretty cool, and obviously targeted to deal with Meerkat, another video streaming app with Twitter integration (using the public Twitter API). But Twitter doesn’t own Meerkat, a recent start-up company.

The point of all this? It’s proof that Twitter is aggressively investing in video capability to stay relevant and regain some of its stock value that’s down 31% from its all-time high value in 2013. The company is betting video is the future, or at least a large component of it. They’re probably right.

Oliver Burt

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