Twitter increases its maximum video length for paying users

Elon Musk wants to turn Twitter into the ‘everything app’ (Alamy/PA)
Elon Musk wants to turn Twitter into the ‘everything app’ (Alamy/PA)

Twitter Blue subscribers can now post entire movies to the platform in one tweet — well, as long as they don’t break any copyright laws.

Elon Musk’s social media app has doubled the maximum video length for paying users from 60 minutes to two hours, reported TechCrunch. The company also said that the video file size limit has been bumped up from 2GB to 8GB.

As part of the changes to Twitter Blue, uploads are now possible through the Twitter for iOS app, whereas they were previously limited to the web. However, you can still only post 1080p videos, aka full HD, so don’t expect to see 4K clips of the type available on YouTube.

At least one account is already harnessing the new feature: The All in Podcast, featuring Musk’s besties David Sacks and Jason Calanacis, has started uploading full episodes on Twitter. Notably, out-of-a-job right-wing news host Tucker Carlson is also threatening to launch a show on Twitter, and could make use of the upgrade.

The update makes sense when viewed as part of Musk’s vision to turn Twitter into a TikTok or YouTube rival. In recent weeks, the company has added new playback speed controls on the web and is reportedly working on a dedicated video tab.

Musk has also been trying to lure content creators with the promise of attractive revenue-sharing deals. He has also introduced a new feature that lets people subscribe to accounts for bonus tweets. More broadly, the entrepreneur has said he wants to turn Twitter into an “everything app”.

Despite the recent push, Musk’s video strategy is likely to crystallise under the purview of his successor, Linda Yaccarino. A seasoned TV advertising veteran, Yaccarino has praised Twitter as an indispensable content distribution platform, and urged Musk to restore its live video feature.

Whether they manage to reverse Twitter’s fortunes or not, the last thing Musk and Yaccarino will want is for the new video feature to fuel piracy. That’s exactly what has been happening in recent months as Twitter users have illegally shared old and new films. Until now, these had to be split into smaller clips across a series of tweets, but the new video length update changes that.

A recent embarrassing incident for Twitter involved the Super Mario Bros. Movie being uploaded in two halves. Twitter took down the tweets, and suspended the user behind them, but not before they were viewed nine million times.