Twitter Buys SnappyTV, Revs Up For The Birth Of "Social Television"

Imagine you're live-tweeting the Oscars, but rather than describe Jared Leto's enviable hair on the red carpet, you can share a video as it's happening. That's exactly what Twitter's been trying to do with its continued investment in live video, including Twitter's latest acquisition of SnappyTV. The idea is to bring TV content to Twitter, which would benefit not only the TV platform and the microblogging company, but all parties involved: broadcasters, advertisers, and Tweet-ers. The acquisition comes days after GIFs arrived on Twitter.

On Thursday, both Twitter and SnappyTV announced the acquisition on each company's respective blogs. Twitter emphasized its commitment to expanding its video capabilities, in addition to its goal of bringing TV out of a fixed schedule and into the real-time conversations happening on social media. Baljeet Singh, director of product management, wrote:

Together, we’ve worked with the biggest content partners in the world to inject the best video content into Twitter’s real-time conversation, straight from the TV to your mobile device.... Our goal is to help publishers quickly share great moments from events so people can experience those moments as they happen.

Likewise, SnappyTV was eager to announce the new partnership.

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Over the years, we’ve developed a close partnership with Twitter –– we’ve worked together to make it easy for publishers to bring video clips to Twitter, both organically and with sponsors via Twitter Amplify, and we’ve also built Twitter data directly into our editing platform. Through this partnership, people have been able to turn to Twitter to view highlights from major events from world championships to TV and awards shows to Presidential elections, just to name a few.

So how exactly will this affect Twitter users? Here's everything you need to know about Twitter's venture into video.

What Exactly Is SnappyTV?

Founded in 2010, SnappyTV is a cloud-based platform that lets users to easily and quickly edit TV clips, and share 'em on YouTube or social media. Its service is especially useful for live content, like sports games and award shows.

Other TV Partnerships in the Twitter Empire

In March, Twitter acquired two other TV start-ups to help expand its "social television" empire outside the U.S. The first, Mesagraph, is a French analytics company that tracks millions of online conversations in real time to provide insights.

The second, SecondSync, is a U.K. company that does essentially the same thing. SecondSync wrote in its announcement: "Through our social analytics products, we’ve enabled clients in the broadcast and advertising industries to realize the value of conversations on Twitter about television. Twitter is the only place that hosts a real-time, public conversation about TV at scale."

What Is Twitter Amplify and Social TV?

Before explaining Twitter Amplify, we'll break down the concept of social television. It's basically social interaction related to TV, such as discussions on the latest Game of Thrones episode, sharing clips of sports games, and live tweeting red carpet events. The union of television and social media has opened doors for advertisers, brands, broadcasters, and social media platforms; studying people's TV-related Twitter behavior creates major opportunities for promotion.

Hence Twitter Amplify, the company's major initiative in social television. The product was designed specifically for media companies and consumer brands to align with TV broadcasters to advertise through real-time, in-tweet video clips. The three TV start-ups that Twitter has acquired this year will each play a major role in building and expanding Twitter Amplify and the company's social TV empire.

Images: SnappyTV, SecondSync