This article originally appeared on 60 Second Social.

Twitter has a difficult decision to make, a decision that could potentially drive users away from or to the service, and a decision which could be the key to keeping up with Facebook and YouTube: to hit or not hit autoplay on video.

A feature which was adopted by Facebook some time ago, when you see a video in your Facebook feed it now begins to autoplay and has been the leading factor to Facebook catching up to YouTube when it comes to video view statistics.

Twitter is remaining cautious at the moment, and Twitter purists don’t want the service to stray much further from its text based roots, however autoplay has become a big tool for brands and companies who have embraced it.

Twitter bought SnappyTV earlier in the year and its Amplify ad program, which relies on video content, is an area where Twitter has the jump on Facebook. It allows Twitter to partner with sports and entertainment brands to share videos for the brand as part of the ad based Twitter programme.

The debate over autoplay is not a straight forward matter, it would be a big shift on a platform still struggling to find the right formula to appeal to as many users as possible.

Meanwhile, “Google is freaking out,” a media agency executive close to Twitter indicated, as Facebook attempts to poach YouTube talent in order to improve the quality of its video offerings. YouTube has gone on the defensive with lucrative counteroffers in exchange for exclusivity.

When it comes to the video space in general, Twitter is seen as playing catch-up. Brands are eager to see Twitter adopt autoplay since it has proved to be such a hit on Facebook. “Think about what they would be able to do for the Amplify product,” the insider said to “They’d be able to sell on it like crazy.”

About The Author

Mark is the founder of 60 Second Social media where he provides social media news and digital marketing analysis, he is also a proud father of his bearded dragon, Lola. You can follow him on Twitter here. You can also follow 60 Second Social on Twitter here.

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