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Twitter makes it easier to share the right part of a live video with launch of ‘Timestamps’

Twitter today is introducing a new feature that will make it easier to share a key moment from a live video, so those viewing the tweet don’t have to scroll to the part of the broadcast you want to talk about. The feature, called “Timestamps,” is something Twitter says it built in response to existing user behavior on Twitter.

Before, users could only tweet an entire live video . So, if they wanted to highlight a particular segment, they would tweet the video along with the specific time in the video where the part they’re trying to share begins.

Those viewing the tweet would then have to scroll through the video to the correct time, which can be cumbersome on longer broadcasts and challenging on slower connections.

For instance:

The new Timestamps feature makes this whole process simpler. Now, when you tap to share a live video (or a replay of a live video), you’re able to scroll back to the exact time you want the audience to watch. You can then add your own thoughts to the tweet, and post it as usual.

But anyone seeing the tweet will start watching right at the time you specified.

If the video is still live, they’ll then be able to skip to what’s happening now by clicking the “live” button, or they can scroll back and forward in the video as they choose.

The new option ties in well with Twitter’s live streaming efforts, which has seen the company focused on offering live-streamed sporting events, news broadcasts, and other events.

For example, those live-streaming a sports match could re-share the same live video broadcast every time the team scores a goal, with the video already positioned to the right part of the broadcast to capture that action. That could increase the video’s number of viewers, which could then translate to better advertising potential for those live streams.

However, Twitter will not allow advertisers to place their ads against the Timestamped moments at launch, because they don’t want to get into a situation where an advertiser is positioned up against a moment that’s not considered ‘brand-safe.’

Beyond the sports-focused use cases, people could also take advantage of Timestamps to share their favorite song from a live-streamed concert, while reporters could highlight something important said during a press conference.

Twitter notes the Timestamps feature will be available to anyone – not just professional content publishers. It will also work for anyone doing a broadcast from their phone, and will support live videos both on Twitter and Periscope.

On Twitter, you’ll be able to share the live video as a tweet, while on Periscope you’re able to share to your Periscope followers, in addition to sharing to Twitter or sharing as a link.

Timestamps isn’t the first feature Twitter built by watching how people were using its product. The company has a long history of adapting its product to consumer behavior as it did with the previous launches of @ replies, the hashtag, retweets and, most recently, threads. 

The update that delivers support for Timestamps is rolling out today on Twitter for Android and iOS, Twitter.com and Periscope.

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