According to AllThingsD, Twitter has decided to get into the business of hosting video by acquiring NYC startup Vine. We’ve reached out to Twitter but haven’t been able to confirm this as of yet.
If true, this marks an important milestone for Twitter, which is in complete attack mode when it comes to turning into a media powerhouse. As it stands now, you can upload photos to attach to your tweets, thanks to Twitter’s own service, and it’s probably the easiest way to share photos on the service. Video is a logical next step for Twitter and the yet-to-be-released Vine, but this could get really tricky for the company, fast.
You see, you can already share photos and videos on services like Facebook and Google+. The major difference is that you can control who sees the content. On Twitter, you have two options: public or private. This means that people will make decisions to share or not share based on this limitation.
What am I getting at? We’re about to see some ridiculously embarrassing videos that aren’t meant for “prime time.” Moving pictures transcends everything, even a simple photo. A photo of someone about to moon a camera is different than a video of someone actually doing it.
Before you ask, “But what about services like Socialcam and Viddy? Same thing!” Not really, because Twitter’s game is distribution…fast distribution. Globally.
It makes sense for Twitter to get into this game, as it relies heavily on YouTube and other platforms to serve everyone’s followers with video. However, real-world people are going to make real-world mistakes.
Here’s an example: Your friend is a bit drunk, and you shoot a beautiful video with your phone. In an instant, you and your friend decide “YOLO! I’m gonna share this.” You can’t take that back. Once it’s on Twitter, it’s all over the place. You can pull back something on YouTube, Google+ and Facebook, but not so easily on Twitter. It’s the mentality of users on the service — if we see it, it happened.
How can Twitter make this experience better by helping users save themselves from humiliation? I don’t know. Maybe that’s not their job. My point is that “doing video” isn’t just about providing some cloud storage and processing. A lot goes into making a solid video platform.
I haven’t used Vine. I haven’t met the team. I’m hoping that if this is all true, Twitter has already begun thinking about the potential consequences.
[Photo credit: Flickr]