Twitter is giving Madison Avenue a look at its live video capabilities after sending out an invite for an event it is calling #VideoNOW.
The agency world has started getting invites to the Oct. 8 event that will showcase Twitter’s video prowess with services like Periscope and Vine. Agency sources said they also expect to get a look at Project Lightning — a video-centric media product that has been in the works for months.
Few in the marketing world have played with Lightning, and brands and advertisers have been waiting to go hands-on with the service. However, it has been anticipated for about three months since Twitter publicly opened up about it to Buzzfeed.
One agency executive who has seen Lightning said it is a dynamic multimedia product that enhances live moments on Twitter. “After experiencing Lightning, I wholeheartedly believe it will be the saving grace of Twitter,” the agency exec said. “It will turn Twitter around.”
The social messaging platform has had growth problems and some troubles with delivering results to some advertisers. Ex-CEO Dick Costolo stepped aside this summer, and the company has yet to announce his replacement, widely expected to be co-founder Jack Dorsey.
It has been issuing a number of product updates, and some analysts have said Dorsey is responsible for an uptick in innovation.
As for Lightning, it is Twitter’s attempt to give logged-out users a media center that they can find for live, breaking events — sports, news, politics and entertainment.
“Twitter has redefined live video for consumers, publishers, and brands to create, consume, and engage in the moment—whenever, wherever,” the company said in its invite today. “Join Jack Dorsey, Adam Bain, and other executives and key partners as new exciting opportunities are revealed, changing the future of video.”
The agency exec said that Lightning will be within Twitter with the click of a button that opens a feed of live topics. Users, scroll up and down and tap an event that interests them, opening a full catalog of media surrounding the event.
“It basically replaces trends,” the exec said. The media hubs will have tweets, photos, and most importantly videos.
Twitter has plenty of competition in live events, with Snapchat growing its Live Stories section revolving around news and entertainment. Facebook and Instagram also are pressing their claims to live audiences.
Twitter, which declined to comment on Lightning or the event, sent out its invites for it with just one word “#VideoNow.”