Twitter wants to help influential creators get paid by helping them understand maximizing their follower base.
The micro-blogging platform today introduced Engage, a standalone app that is designed to help “creators, influencers and public figures” grow and engage with their audience.
But it’s an open question if the new app will help Kim Kardashian West grow her 46.1 million Twitter following enough for it to catch up to her Instagram fan base of 74.5 million.
The app focuses primarily on analytics, rather than a timeline of Tweets. It doesn’t include access to the general Twitter timeline at all. Instead, Twitter Engage shows metrics including audience demographics, retweets, mentions, video views and how these performed during various time periods. It does show a feed of what fans are Tweeting about.
The app is available only on iOS and in the United States, but is open to all users, meaning accounts do not need to be verified to use the service. And some creators will be able to monetize content directly within the app.
“We want to be the best place for creators and influencers to build an audience and make it easier for creators to make money on Twitter, and soon [the Twitter-owned video-sharing platform] Vine,” said chief executive officer and cofounder Jack Dorsey.
Twitter also said users can now share videos that are up to 140 seconds long. Before, video shares were limited to 30 seconds. The company also said longer videos will begin appearing on Vine, starting with a small group. Since the beginning of 2016, according to information shared by Twitter, video Tweets have increased by more than 50 percent.
Dorsey told investors earlier this year that video would be a big push for Twitter and that promoted videos, from an advertising perspective, performed incredibly well.
He said that Twitter would be monetizing Periscope and Vine “by bringing that creative canvas into Twitter and allowing marketers to bring that canvas into Twitter and do targeting campaigns and measurement.” He shared that Kohl’s, for example, “went live during the Oscars and brought a behind-the-scenes, red-carpet live on Twitter through the promoted tweet with Periscope.”
To help promote videos, Twitter has added an update that is designed to make it easier to discover videos on Vine and Twitter by adding recommended video Tweets below videos that a user watches in their timeline.
Chief operating officer Adam Bain, speaking during the first earnings call of the year, said, “We see a clear opportunity ahead to increase our share of the brand advertising market, especially around video. Some of these new video opportunities will, we believe, grow budgets that we have access to.”
Facebook and Instagram seem to agree. Just this month, Facebook made it possible for its users to share and view 360-degree videos, and in March, Facebook-owned Instagram extended the length of video shares from 15 seconds to 60. According to Instagram, in the last six months, the time people spent watching video increased by more than 40 percent.
In April, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg plugged their push toward video while speaking with investors, with Zuckerberg calling this the “golden age of online video.” He said this was due to the ease of capturing and sharing videos on mobile devices. Sandberg said people are sharing and creating three times more video now than they did a year ago and that Facebook was working to help marketers optimize video ads.