To say that Facebook made some major gains in becoming the “go to” place for everything in 2015, including video, is an understatement. At the Facebook financial report for 2015, they revealed a few key statistics around video.
The biggest were that 500 million people watch over 100 million hours of video every day. So significant gains have been made to make Facebook a real heavyweight when it comes to social video. Consider Visible Measures reported 56% of the top 10 branded video views in 2015 occurred on Facebook. In 2014, that number was a big goose egg. Overall there was an 88% increase in video views on Facebook in 2015 according to MediaPost. But what sparked this growth? What sort of content is thriving in the Facebook News Feed?
A great recent example of the kind of content that is booming on Facebook, is this upload from BuzzFeed’s Tasty which has over 76 million views, 1.4 million shares and 165 thousand comments in a little over a week.
Why? It is a quick little snippet at just 1 minute. Nothing heavy, just quick snackable content. It also starts with that interesting shot of the straw poking the head off the strawberry to capture the viewer’s curiosity. So it’s well shot and edited. Finally it is engaging to watch without requiring audio, something that is disabled by default in the Facebook News Feed. So you get the gist of what they are doing without needing to listen as well. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s food which is a thing most humans still crave.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly proclaimed that “Video is an important part of the Facebook experience” and he’s also promised that Facebook will continue to invest in video. With the recent roll out of Facebook Live videos to all users and stating that it will begin ranking live video higher in people’s News Feeds. Clearly they are betting big on the future potential of video as part of their News Feed. And I’m sure the engagement video receives is a boon to their advertising revenue, so why wouldn’t they find more ways for people and brands to have more interactive content including video?
I think for Facebook to continue this monstrous growth, they need to figure a few other things out. The first is a better search functionality. If I search for a video by name or brand on YouTube, what I’m looking for is usually right at the top. Facebook’s search is still a little murky as you get people who shared it, brands who reposted it and maybe not exactly what you were looking for in the first place. If you put the brand name and video name in search, you should be able to find it.
I also think Facebook needs to redefine what it considers a view. Sitting in someone’s News Feed for three seconds on autoplay is not indicative of a view because there’s no action required on the part of the viewer. They aren’t clicking play…it’s just playing. They could be just scrolling and are reading the post above that video, or aren’t watching the video at all but are reading the comments.
While what Facebook considers a view may be dubious, the kind of interaction brands are getting on the social giant is still impressive. What about your video marketing on Facebook? Have you seen a huge difference in engagement between your videos on Facebook and YouTube? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below, I always reply back quickly to keep the conversation going.