Twitter has hired an ex-YouTube executive to help improve its video chops.
The hiring, reported on The Verge, will mean that Baljeet Singh today becomes a product director charged with helping to sell ads for video content as well as improving the quality and volume. Singh had been at Google and YouTube for more than five years, where he implemented skippable video ads.
His job description: make video easier to find and watch, get more partnerships and thus more video, and get more ads.
Singh told The Verge that “there’s all this tremendous conversation that happens around TV content and online content – and all that conversation is happening on Twitter.”
That TV-related conversation is a key reason why video is so crucial to Twitter’s fortunes.
The micro-blogging service is now the major conversational sidekick to TV programs. The Twitter-owned social TV analytics provider Bluefin Labs has reported that 95 percent of conversation about live TV takes place on Twitter, visibly indicated by the proliferation of hashtags on TV ads and programs. The company has emphasized ad targeting on Twitter via Promoted Tweets as way for TV advertisers to extend their reach – and their buys – beyond the broadcast and into online.
Twitter’s Amplify program, for instance, was launched in the middle of last year. It creates dual-screen partnerships for utilizing real-time video in conjunction with TV, sports, and publishing companies, including BBC America, The Weather Channel, Major League Baseball, and Time,Inc. Brand advertisers, the service said, get “an integrated cross-platform tool for reaching the social conversation wherever it happens.”
A week ago, Twitter published its first earnings report since going public and posted a loss of $511 million. At the time, CEO Dick Costolo pointed to more video in the timeline as part of an effort to attract more users, and he specifically mentioned making “Twitter a more visually engaging medium across a number of dimensions.”