Facebook Next Megatrend
(Other Than News Feed That Is.)

“I see video as a megatrend. That’s why I’m going to keep putting video first across our family of apps."

By ANDERSON CHOW

Don’t take my words for it and the headline isn’t sensationalized either. If it’s anything about Facebook, who’s better than hearing it from the CEO himself, Mark Zuckerberg. Last February during a call with investors, he outlined Facebook making significant investments in video and said, “I see video as a megatrend. That’s why I’m going to keep putting video first across our family of apps.” He predicted Facebook is “all video” in 5 years time back in June 2014 and the company has been facilitating that transition ever since.

According to vice president for Facebook in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Nicola Mendelsohn, “We’re seeing a year-on-year decline of text… If I was having a bet I’d say: video, video, video.” In 2017 video account for 50% of all mobile traffic and projection to increase to 75% in the next few years.

Zuckerberg is envisioning Facebook as a video-first company in the future pouring lots of money, $1billion to be exact to publishers and content creators through 2018 in hope to bolster its video app Watch, a new platform for shows on video. The initial idea is to have enough great short-form content where viewers could turn to watch, connect and share with the communities. That approach hasn’t worked out much for Facebook, and now are working with the publishers to create bigger shows to rival even Netflix. A huge challenge indeed giving Netflix’s recent successes with its Game of Throne, Orange Is The New Black, and House of Cards and many more. Despite the earlier intention to fight Youtube at its game, it is somewhat off Facebook’s radar for now after the latter becoming increasingly profitable and Youtube is barely breaking even on ad revenue. Facebook has higher and bigger goals now. Its strategy focusing on video has already resulted in native video uploads 10x more shares than Youtube uploads, an 80 percent share in uploads to Facebook by brands.

They are many shinning spots within video that Facebook is looking particularly into, like Live video and community-driven video as its innovation test-bed, and branded content, Ad Breaks and Pre-Roll as its monetization path. On a larger marketing trend for videos include both short and long-form: *list is updated due recent announcement on News Feed tweak.

  • Video for marketing in a new form
  • Video as training tools
  • Video advertising for brand
  • Social content video

Despite the label ‘all video’ Facebook may not be able to abandon non-video content entirely due to delivery systems in some parts of the world. Mendelsohn, who oversees 433 million users in the EMEA region continues, “Facebook app goes ‘all video’ in the US and select other developed markets.” where infrastructures are efficient to deliver content direct to desktop or mobile. For the rest of the world though, video is still the strategy, only at a different pace.The table shows social media video advertising in current context thus making video still being very relevant to marketers. Video will to be a key component to any digital strategy. The strength of video ad is to help brand connects with communities, engage consumers, and drive sales through the universal format of sights and sound for a richer experience, and it’s exactly that experience that everyone is craving.

It is not only 2018’s most immediate catalyst for Facebook but also an ingenious growth strategy. “Facebook’s goals and ambition in video appear large,” says Chris Belli, VP of marketing and business development at Studio Science, a design consultancy for tech companies — Facebook is also making in-roads with large sporting events for streaming rights.

Final thoughts

Facebook’s old mantra, “move fast and break things,” has a history of investing — at warp speed — to stave off competitors and build it’s own empire, has WhatsApp for global instant messaging, Oculus for virtual reality, Instagram for images, and now Watch for video. It is a major transformation indeed for a social network company to move into video in such a big way — probably as big as the transformational shift of the desktop to mobile. Now for the rest of the world will just have to sit back and enjoy the show.

*Main image courtesy of Pixabay