Facebook Adds Display Of Video Views As They Soar Past 1 Billion Daily
Autoplay in News Feed and Ice Bucket Challenge fuel rapid growth, but how can marketers take advantage?
Facebook video is growing up, but it’s still early days for marketers trying to figure out how to use the platform to connect with consumers.
That’s the main takeaway from the flurry of stories today reacting to Facebook’s announcement that video on the network is getting more than 1 billion daily views and that it will start displaying view counts on video.
There’s no doubt that Facebook users are watching more video. The company has been making sure of that since last December by serving it with audio-free autoplay in News Feeds. It also adjusted the News Feed algorithm in June to show more video to people who tend to watch a lot of video. And the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge alone has sparked more than 17 million videos that have been viewed 10 billion times by 440 million people between June 1 and September 1.
So it’s no surprise that Facebook reports that video views grew by 50% between May and June and that since June views are averaging more than a billion a day or that 65% of those views are happening on mobile devices.
But what does that mean for publishers, businesses and other marketers trying to reach customers on Facebook? I believe, it’s too early to tell what the long-term potential will be. For one thing, the auto-play video in News Feeds is still something of a novelty and it’s quite possible that users will start to tune it out. For another, producing compelling video is not easy or inexpensive, so marketers and publishers with limited budgets might stay on the sidelines.
BuzzFeed, for one, is already seeing success, reporting growth in video shares of 160% from June to July and 200% from July to August. BuzzFeed’s strategy is to create videos that don’t need sound to resonate with viewers, which is crucial in the audio-free-unless-you-tap Facebook environment.
And for celebrities, Facebook video is an obvious winner. Case in point, on Friday Beyonce posted a video simultaneously on Facebook and YouTube and it spread much more rapidly on the social network, 2.4 million views to a few thousand in the first four hours.
Video advertisers are also seeing good results, Facebook said in a blog post. Helped by the use of the video views targeting objective, advertisers are “seeing a significant decrease in cost per view for their Facebook video ads. So in the coming weeks, we’ll extend the availability of videos that play automatically to more content from more brands in the US.”
For marketers of more limited means, there’s not much to report, although Facebook Page administrators have been given access to more detailed video analytics, which will aid measuring the effectiveness of campaigns.
Also, Facebook has added the ability for Pages to add calls to action that display at the end of videos, “allowing content creators to invite people to visit a destination, such as a website, after the video ends to learn more, watch more or make a purchase.”