Recently, Facebook has been promoting native Facebook video to businesses as another way to advertise on Facebook.
The Potential for Facebook Video
Will this move make waves?
After all, Facebook video already generates around 3 billion views per day. While Facebook hasn’t been forthcoming about monetization strategies, previous experiments with the format hint at a few possibilities…
Just a few months ago, NFL and Verizon launched a joint video venture on the social network. The clips included game highlights and replays. And they were followed by Verizon post-roll ads.
Though these videos were simply “a small video sponsorship test,” as one Facebook spokesperson put it, this small “test” hints at the direction native video could be taking.
In this case, Verizon paid to promote the video while the NFL and Facebook split the revenue.
Facebook appears to be cautious about rolling out large scale changes and is limiting the current tests to the NFL and Fox Sports. As Noah Mallin, the head of social at MEC, told Digiday, “When you look at creating timely videos, sports content can do really well.”
He also pointed out that this move could be interpreted as a “shot over Twitter’s bow,” since it echoes a similar tactic tried by Twitter last year…with the same sponsors.
Mallin is referencing Twitter’s Amplify program, which allows media companies to distribute video clips and ads inside users’ Twitter feeds. The NFL and Twitter distributed pre-sold ad inventory which was, again, sponsored by Verizon.
And, just like Facebook’s recent experiment, Twitter and the TV companies split the ad revenue.
Like other major social networking sites, Twitter is exploring the potential of video advertising and autoplay videos. Between Facebook and YouTube, Twitter is up against some stiff competition, though…
The Video Showdown Begins…
As contently pointed out, Facebook and Twitter are vying for some video market share. In the summer of 2014, Facebook claimed they were averaging 1 billion views per day. And, as mentioned, that number is now up to around 3 billion.
These types of numbers may hint that YouTube’s future as the video kingpin isn’t so assured. Anecdotal evidence from small-time marketers have even led them to question the usefulness of YouTube marketing.
One woman asked social media marketer Gary Vaynerchuck why her Facebook video received 2700 views and 35 shares versus her YouTube counterpart, which took a year to reach that same number. Her question: should she focus on creating videos for Facebook only?
Vaynerchuck replied that she should make both Facebook and YouTube videos. And he also advised that she should make sure she received that many views and not simply that many impressions.
However, her experience and her question still points to the possibility that YouTube may be facing some big challenges in the months and years to come.
And Facebook isn’t sitting idly by either. They are making things as difficult as possible for YouTube to be promoted inside Facebook.
1. The Facebook video player looks much better.
As Contently noted, Facebook’s native video player looks “big, bright and beautiful.” On the other hand, YouTube’s video player “is made to seem as ugly as possible.
2. YouTube videos are now incompatible with Sponsored Posts. Or so Facebook claims…
And they’ve effectively barred YouTube links from Sponsored Posts. Businesses who try to include YouTube links will be told the bad news.
And the result of this strong-arming has been positive for Facebook. Mashable reports that YouTube videos are declining in engagement and shares.
What These Trends Mean for Marketers
Most of all:
Facebook is clearly focused on video and dynamic image-based content, so marketers should be as well.
The above trends clearly demonstrate that video is going to be one of the major platforms of the future.
In fact, Zuckerberg made several predictions about the future of Facebook. Among his predictions were the facts that we would be messaging people via “photos or SMS than the old web interface.” Down the road, he said, expect to see more augmented reality and virtual reality technology that delivers rich, context-driven information.
And this may be why he invested $2 billion in Oculus.
An unassuming Facebook blog post told Facebook users and content creators that “the number of video posts per person has increased 75% globally and 94% in the US.” Also, they said that a video “will be part of News Feed.”
Naturally, since YouTube is becoming such an unattractive option for Facebook users, that only leaves Facebook Video.
As Facebook, Twitter, and other social channels ramp up their efforts in the video realm, marketers would be wise to take heed. After all, these efforts reflect consumer demand: since people want more video, they are likely to pay more attention to video than to other forms of media.
To ride the wave, then, marketers should start exploring native video and video advertising. That way, they’ll be ready when these options become ubiquitous.