Twitter doesn’t want to generate referral traffic anymore. It wants to keep user eyeballs on twitter.com.
Expanded tweets and instream video display are tactics to retain users that would normally click out externally to view content. If users stay put, Twitter can show them ads. If the user clicks to YouTube, Twitter misses out.
Twitter doesn’t want to be just a recommendation engine. It wants to own the web, and like Facebook allow publishers and platforms to plugin so users never leave the Twitter base.
Twitter’s strategy is wise for ad dollars but it gets away from the original 140 character fabric of the service, which made it perfect for quick bytes and the optional link to learn more.
Attention is scarce and multimedia in the form of video, sounds, and images keeps Internet users entertained. Twitter’s move to keep users on its site is both convenient for user (instant access) and benefits Twitter’s bottom line. Wise move, but then Twitter might as well remove the 140 character limit.