Twitter wants everyone’s experience with Twitter to be consistent. They want the way you view a tweet, whether on desktop or mobile, to be exactly the same as the way your neighbor views a tweet. Over a year and a half ago, Twitter began to crack down on third-party apps that attempted to alter the way in which users experience the service. Jump ahead to September, and we saw Twitter update their API terms to cap third-party apps’ user base. Twitter wants control, and that’s the way it’s going to be moving forward.
Another example of this came just a few weeks ago when Twitter removed third-party photo-hosting services from their offical mobile apps. When using Twitter on iOS or Android, users no longer have the option to upload photos using yFrog or TwitPic. All photos attached to tweets now upload to Twitter’s own image service.
And now, it looks like Twitter wants to host all of your videos as well.
According to sources quoted by All Things D, Twitter is working on building their own video-hosting service. That mean that when users upload an original video and attach it to a tweet, they won’t have to do it via a third-party service. Obviously, this is pretty bad news for the folks over at yFrog, TwitVid, Mobypicture, and Vodpod. A native Twitter video service would naturally cut into those applications’ market share, and you’d have to imagine that Twitter would eventually eliminate them as options in their mobile apps – the same way they did with photos.
It makes sense for Twitter to take on this challenge. They’ve already made tweets more media-rich on both desktop and mobile, allowing for photos, videos, and articles to be expanded inside the tweet stream.
But in the end, giving the user a more consistent experience is only part of the motivation. Twitter is looking for ways to better monetize the service, and you would think that hosting their own videos would be the first step in featuring videos from advertisers in our news feeds. Twitter is already doing everything they can to make promoting tweets more attractive to marketers, and being able to tout a media-rich tweet with their own videos would be a big plus for the company moving forward.