Guide to Posting Videos on Twitter

The general social media management consensus is that videos are more engaging than any other form of social media post, across the board. Video is fairly standard on platforms like Instagram and Facebook, and Twitter has also seen a massive increase in video content. In fact, video views on Twitter increased 62% from 2019 to 2020 (Hootsuite).

But how do you post videos on Twitter and why should you? Read on for everything you need to know.

Table of Contents

Why Focus on Posting Videos to Twitter?

Posting videos on Twitter helps you to:

  • Break up your stream
  • Include longer messages (there's no character limit on a video!)
  • Increase engagement

Video is a great way to break up your content stream with movement and action. Twitter videos start playing automatically as you scroll by making them jump out more at the user. 

They’re also a clever way to get around the limiting character count. Because while the max length of a Twitter video is still short (2 minutes, 20 seconds) this is eons in the social media world. (Really. Remember when Mr. Rogers watched the clock hands tick for an entire 60 seconds without saying a word? A producer's dead-air nightmare, yes, but a great lesson on how long a minute actually is!) 

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, posting videos on Twitter increases engagement metrics like impressions, helping take your social marketing strategy to the next level.

But don’t take our word for it:

Do Videos Work on Twitter?

Yes! Videos that are 2 minutes, 20 seconds or less will play automatically (without sound) as users scroll their home feed or your profile feed. The accepted formats are MP4 or MOV.

What Video Format Does Twitter Support?

  • MP4 or MOV format is the accepted format for Twitter videos. 

If you are getting an error message when trying to upload videos to Twitter, such as “your media file could not be processed” it’s probably because it’s either too long or in the wrong format.

Most video editing software, from iMovie up to Final Cut Pro, makes it easy to export videos into a multitude of formats. If you're producing Twitter video ads or anything beyond shooting with your phone, you'll probably have to export to the proper format. But anything shot on mobile should already be in the right format to upload.

How Long Can Videos Be on Twitter?

  • Maximum Twitter video length: 2:20 
  • Twitter suggests 15 seconds

The maximum length you can upload to Twitter is two minutes, twenty seconds, though Twitter recommends an ideal length of around fifteen seconds. Note that Twitter videos that are 60 seconds or shorter will loop, similar to a Gif or an Instagram Reel.

Can I upload a video that is longer than 2 minutes?

No. Currently, there is no way for users to post videos longer than the max 2 minutes, 20 seconds. 

How to Upload a Video to Twitter

You have 4 different options for sharing a video to Twitter: 

1. Record

record and edit videos from directly within the Twitter app. This makes sharing very easy and quick, but you may find you have fewer options and control over video quality. 

Open the Twitter app and tap the camera icon from within the Tweet composer. Swipe right to the "video" option and press the "record" button.

2. Import

This is probably the most common. Record and edit a video on your phone, or other mobile device such as an iPad. Then select that video when composing your tweet. Your most recently shot videos will appear when you tap the “add image” icon within the Tweet composer.

3. Upload

This is basically the same as “import”. To upload a video to Twitter, choose the “share to Twitter” option from within your photo app on mobile. The Twitter app will then open and you can compose your Tweet or add other media.

4. Twitter Live

Another video option from within the app, Twitter now supports Live video, much like Instagram. You’ll see the Live option when you press the camera icon in the Tweet composer.

(Source: Twitter Help Center)

Best Practices for Twitter Videos

So what can you do in 2 minutes to captivate and engage the doom scrollers, the casual scrollers, and the easily distracted scrollers? Here are 4 key best practices to keep in mind when creating video content for Twitter.

1. Optimize for sound off

While videos on Twitter begin playing automatically, they are muted. Don’t depend on users to press the unmute button, so one of the top things to remember is to use captions. Also try to focus on clear, enticing visual cues. Avoid anything that’s too busy or complex.

This Rothys ad, for example, includes a voiceover but the messaging is clear from the words on the screen:

2. Showcase your logo or product within the first 3 seconds

Don’t miss out on the chance to let people know who you are. You are contending with tons of other posts and notifications. Make sure your message is clear, concise and attention-grabbing. 

3. Keep post copy short

Remember the video is the star. So keep the post copy short and sweet. Use emojis for more visual cues. According to Twitter for Business “Videos with minimal Tweet copy versus longer Tweet copy have 13% higher brand and message recall”. Use hashtags strategically within the post copy to make your video posts discoverable from Twitter search.

4. Think about the term “video” broadly

Videos on Twitter, particularly when they’re used for ads or as promotional tweets, don’t need to be complicated or even have sound at all. Remember that videos 60 seconds or shorter will loop, like a Gif or Boomerang. Consider this simple yet mouth-watering ad from OhHo Candy:

Can You See Who Views Your Twitter Videos?

The view count will show up on your videos, so you will be able to see how many people watched. However there is no way to see the individual names or handles of the people who viewed, and nor will users be able to see this information.

How to Download Videos From Twitter 

Want or need to share a Twitter video with someone outside the Twitterverse? This is a two-step process and easy to do.

If you want to download a video from Twitter to your phone or computer, you’ll need to use one of two recommended websites: SaveTweetVid or TwitterVideoDownloader

Image of the tiwtter video downloader

Both services have the same functionality: copy and paste the direct link for the Tweet into the appropriate field and click “download.”

And that's it! If you're interested in learning more about how Meltwater can help you up the ante in your Twitter marketing, fill out the form below to get in touch.

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