By: Sam Schwartz  twitter_bird_logo_2012-svgAssistant Director of Multimedia – America East Conference

If you are familiar with SnappyTV, you may be sad to hear this. If you are not familiar with SnappyTV, it appears as though it may not be worth your time familiarizing yourself with it.

According to several reports, Twitter, which had acquired and modified SnappyTV, will be phasing out the video-clipping platform and moving to their Media Studio for all video content. This will leave many organizations from collegiate athletics departments to big-time news stations searching for a new way to clip and share video.

Clipping live events and scheduling video shares to Twitter are two primary functions of SnappyTV. The best part: it’s free.

If you currently use SnappyTV, you should be on alert for a change come the end of the calendar year. Twitter, of course, does not want to lose users so it will be interesting to see how much they invest in their Media Studio to emulate the functions of SnappyTV. The biggest question for the idling social media platform, however, is whether or not these services remain free.

It seems unwise for Twitter to force users to pay for specific uses of Media Studio. Neulion and SIDEARM Sports – two of the leading website providers across college athletics – have their own integrated clipping mechanisms for live games. If your college or conference streams games on your website, this feature is likely available to you and is an easy alternative to SnappyTV.

There, perhaps, is the underlying motive to Twitter’s movement away from SnappyTV. TechCrunch references the disintegration of Vine to exemplify Twitter’s aspiration to incorporate more live video on their platform.

The live streaming market could be a saving grace for the character-limiting social site. And having their own clipping and sharing mechanism would be the way to draw organizations to hire Twitter as their streaming provider. The biggest upside to this would be giving Twitter an advantage over Facebook, which does not currently offer a clipping tool for live video.

Another threat posed by the reported shifting to the Twitter Media Studio is the potential inability to share media from that space to other accounts such as Facebook and YouTube. It is hard to imagine Twitter allowing the sharing of their videos directly to their competitors.

One advantage to Media Studio as it currently stands is that it is, indeed, free and can already schedule video posts as well as track analytics on such posts.

On paper, this move is certainly a head-scratcher when you consider the fact that major television stations utilize and rave about the functionality of SnappyTV. But Twitter has been trending in the wrong direction for some time and continues to search for an auspicious plan to please stockholders.

Only time will tell what replaces SnappyTV and the pressure is on Twitter to implement a better substitute.