The Complete Guide to Twitter Video

Megan O'Neill


On Twitter, video is king. Twitter recently reported that Tweets with video get 10X the engagement of Tweets without video. And that’s not all. The social networking service sees about 1.2 billion video views each day.


Video can help you stand out in the Twitter feed, boost engagement, and get people to take action. But where do you get started? That’s where this guide comes in. We’ve rounded up everything you need to know about Twitter video, from the benefits to how to get started, video ideas, and more.

Click through on the table of contents below to jump to any section of the Twitter video guide.

Table of Contents:

The Benefits of Video on Twitter

We’ll start with an overview of why you should incorporate video into your Twitter strategy. There are many reasons to start using video on Twitter. The first is that the team at Twitter recommends it!

Twitter touts video

A recent post on the Twitter business blog touts, "Today’s audiences eagerly consume videos. People watch videos to find insightful talks, see entertaining outtakes, and get an inside look at what’s happening behind your account."

Internal Twitter data shows that the number of video views on the platform has grown 2X over the past 12 months, and video is Twitter’s fastest-growing advertising tool. But what, specifically, can Twitter video do for your business? Read on to find out.

Twitter videos get more engagement

Back in 2016, Twitter shared data that showed Tweets with video get 6X more retweets than photos and 3X more retweets than gifs. And, as we shared in the intro to this guide, their most recent data revealed that Tweets with video get 10X more engagement than those without.

Video resonates with consumers

Our 2018 State of Social Video report revealed that video is consumers’ #1 favorite type of content to see from brands on social media.


Video stands out in the Twitter feed

Tweets with video are eye-catching. In a feed that’s mostly text, they take up more room and draw attention with movement.

Twitter video ads are more affordable

According to Twitter data, "Promoted Tweets with videos save more than 50% on cost-per-engagement." So by including videos in your Twitter ads, not only will you get more engagement, but you’ll pay less per engagement.

Twitter Video Ideas

Once you understand why you should be using video on Twitter, the next step is to come up with some video ideas. We’ve put together a list of 5 ideas to get you started, complete with examples.

Note: Before you actually dive in and make a video for Twitter, jump down to our section on Twitter video specs to make sure your video is the right length and format.

1. Address a trend

Twitter revolves around trending topics. People include #hashtags in their Tweets to join conversations about specific topics. Addressing these trends in video form, and including relevant hashtags in your Tweet, can help you get discovered by new potential friends, followers, or customers.

This example comes from Jane Goodall Institute's Roots and Shoots. They used hashtags like #makeadifference, #WorldAnimalDay, and #InternationalAudience to get the word out about the campaign this video was a part of.

2. Tease content

Our second Twitter video idea is a teaser about a piece of content on your website or blog. Use a mix of photos, video clips, and text to spark interest and let viewers know what they can expect if they click through to read more. Include the link to the piece of content in the copy of the Tweet.

This is example was used to promote a guide to small business marketing we worked on with Sprout Social.

3. Share a video reply

Stand out in a conversation by including a video in a Twitter @reply. Respond to a question or Tweet in video form. This is a fun way to showcase your personality, plus a Tweet with video can help you stand out in a sea of text-only replies.

4. Make a roundup and tag others

Here’s a fun idea for encouraging engagement. Create a roundup video featuring Tweets from a bunch of different people. Then, share the video and tag everyone featured.

I created this roundup video featuring Tweets on the #videotips hashtag. I shared the video, tagging the folks I quoted, along with the #video tips hashtag, and it received 13 likes and 8 retweets.

5. Run a Twitter video ad

Finally, try creating a video to run as an ad on Twitter. Remember, Twitter video ads get more engagement than ads that don’t include video—plus they cost less.

If you need a little help getting started, check out our video templates for inspiration. There are a variety of templates designed for creating social ads, including the Seasonal Promotion template below.

Twitter Video Tips

Before you start creating videos to share on Twitter, we thought we’d offer up some tips to help you out. These tips will help you get the most out of your video efforts on Twitter.

Plan for mobile viewing

Did you know that over 93% of video views on Twitter are on mobile devices? It’s important to keep mobile viewers in mind when creating your videos. This means you should use text, captions, or subtitles to make sure your videos can be understood with the sound off. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to test and see what your video looks like on a small screen before posting. Is the text large enough to be read?

Keep it short

Remember that on Twitter people are used to consuming short snippets of content. They are used to scrolling quickly through the feed and a long video can take them out of this experience. Your videos can be up to 2:20, but shoot for a 30- to 45-second range.

And keep the written component of your Tweets with video short too. Referring to video ads, Twitter reports, “Videos with minimal Tweet copy vs. longer Tweet copy have 13% higher brand and message recall and overall view time.”

Use what you've got

Unlike platforms like YouTube where your videos stick around for a long time, Twitter is feed-based and, as a result, content is lost in the feed after a short amount of time.

For this reason, you may not want to spend too much time on a single video. Create videos using what you’ve got on hand—existing photos and video clips or stock, like the images and video clips available in our Getty Images library. This’ll also help you jump on trends more quickly.

Here’s an example of a video Tweet we created, repurposing footage from our Social Video Marketing Summit in 2017.

Note that there are a couple exceptions to this rule. One is if you’re creating a video to pin to the top of your Twitter profile to provide more information about your brand or business. A video like this that’s more evergreen and will be viewed by more people may be worth spending more time to create.

The other exception to this rule is when you’re creating video ads. If you’re going to pay money to put a video in front of potential customers, it may be worth spending a little extra time on.

Include a call to action

What action do you want viewers to take after watching your video? Let them know by including a clear call to action (CTA). Include a link and tell people they can click through for more information. If you’re sharing a special promo, encourage people to buy now to take advantage of the deal.

Use hashtags

Include hashtags in your Tweet copy in order to join the conversation. Hashtags help you reach audiences that are talking about topics related to your Tweet. You can see what hashtags are currently trending when you visit Twitter, but those aren’t the only hashtags people are looking at.

There are hashtags related to every industry and topic you can think of. We love this guide from our friends at Sprout Social on how to find the best Twitter hashtags.

How to Post a Video on Twitter

Once your first Twitter video is created, you’re ready to post it! In this section, we’ll show you about uploading videos to Twitter. Note that Twitter also gives you the option to record and share directly from their app. If you’d like to learn more about that, check out our more in-depth blog post on how to post a video on Twitter.

Step 1: Click or tap the "Add photos or video" icon

When you create a new Tweet, whether it’s on the web or on the Twitter app, you should see a small square icon that looks like a picture with two mountains. This is the “Add photos or video” icon. Click or tap on it to upload a video.


Step 2: Select your video

If you’re on a computer, a window will pop up where you can navigate to find your file. Select the file and then click the Open button. The video will be added to your Tweet.

On mobile, you’ll be directed to find the file on your phone, in your Camera Roll or wherever the file lives on your device.

Step 3: Complete your Tweet

Now, all that’s left to do is add some text to your Tweet. Don’t forget to include a link, if necessary. Then, click or tap Tweet and you’re done!

Twitter video length and specs

Want to make sure your video will work on Twitter? Here’s all the information you need.

Twitter video length

To upload a video to Twitter, it should be 2 minutes and 20 seconds or less. That said, as we mentioned in our Twitter video tips section, we recommend keeping your videos short. This is because of the quick manner with which people consume content in the Twitter feed. Try keeping your videos to 30 or 45 seconds at most.

Twitter video specs

Here are a few other Twitter video specs you should know:

  • Twitter video length: Up to 2:20
  • Minimum resolution: 32 x 32
  • Maximum resolution: 1920 x 1200 or 1200 x 1900
  • Supported sizes: Landscape, Square, and Portrait
  • Supported formats (Twitter on web): MP4 with H264 format with AAC audio
  • Supported formats (Twitter mobile app): MP4 and MOV
  • Maximum file size: 512 MB

If you’re planning to run a video ad on Twitter, the specs will differ depending on which type of ad you’re running. You can check out all of the specs in the advertiser creative specifications page on Twitter’s business site. We’ll be diving into Twitter video ads in more detail in the next section of this guide.

Twitter Video Advertising

At this point in our Twitter video guide it should be clear—video is a powerful tool for advertisers on Twitter. In this section we’ll dive into the three types of Twitter video ads.

3 types of Twitter video ads

We’ll break down the three types of Twitter ads that contain video, including what they look like, how they work, and basic specs for the videos you’ll be using in them. You can check out a full rundown of advertiser card specifications on Twitter’s business website.

1. Promoted Videos

Promoted videos are basically organic video Tweets that you pay to promote and get in front of a wider audience. Promoted videos autoplay in the feed. In addition, you’ll have the option to include additional fields, including a title and description, plus a custom thumbnail.

Because these videos appear in the feed the way an organic Tweet would, specs are similar to those of regular video Tweets discussed above.

2. Video Website or App Cards

These types of video ads are designed to get viewers to take action. They include a video, plus a clear call to action (CTA) that can link back to your website or app. The image below comes from Twitter’s advertiser card specifications, linked above.


Videos for this type of ad can be in either the 16x9 or 1x1 aspect ratio and the file size can be up to 1GB. MP4 or MOV files are accepted.

If you’re trying to drive traffic, you’re making a smart choice with these types of ads. Twitter reports that the Video Card Website attracts 2x higher click-through rates than the average mobile video ad.

3. In-Stream Video Ads

Twitter also offers In-stream video ads. These ads play at the beginning of videos from Twitter’s content partners. Similar to TrueView ads on YouTube, these videos can be skipped after 5 seconds. Learn more about In-stream video campaigns on Twitter’s business website.

Getting Started with Twitter Video

You know why your business needs to be on Twitter. You're armed with ideas for videos to create. Now it's time to get started—and we're here to help!

An Animoto subscription gives you everything you need to drag and drop your way to powerful and professional marketing videos. With customizable video templates, designed with success in mind, you can create your own videos in minutes. With over a decade in the industry and partnerships with YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, Animoto is used by more than 1 million businesses worldwide.

Sign up for a free account today or learn more about using Animoto for Twitter videos. Happy video making!