In unwelcome news for YouTube and the television industry, Facebook released statistics Wednesday illustrating explosive growth in video uploads and views, saying that the social network has averaged more than 1 billion daily video views since June.
Other video stats from Facebook included:
- The number of video posts per user has shot up 75 percent globally and 94 percent in the U.S. over the past year.
- On a global basis, the amount of video from users and brands on News Feed is up 3.6 times year-over-year.
- On average, more than 50 percent of U.S. Facebook users who come back to the social network on a daily basis watch at least one video per day.
- 76 percent of U.S. Facebook users said they discover the videos they watch on the social network.
- 65 percent of video views globally are occurring on mobile devices.
Facebook discussed the shift toward video in a Facebook IQ post:
People speak a new universal language — one that is made up of photos, emojis, stickers and videos. This visual language is seen as a succinct, time-efficient and powerful way for people to get their point across.
Helping to drive this development is mobile technology, as it allows people to have a camera with them at all times to capture and share images and express themselves using sight, sound and motion.
On Instagram, people have always communicated visually. More than 300 million people around the world post more than 70 million photos and videos each day on Instagram. Meanwhile, the average number of stickers shared per day on Facebook around the world climbed 75 percent from 2013 to 2014.
The social network also addressed how brands should take advantage of the explosive growth of video on Facebook:
Mobility gives brands more opportunities to reach people in a visually vibrant way that transcends language barriers via the screen that is with people everywhere, all the time. Brands need to bring the story to life in a matter of seconds. We call that “thumb-stopping creative.”
Here are some early observations based on our video ad and consumer research:
Ensure strong creative from the first frame: Value is created very rapidly, starting with the initial thumbnail and first few seconds (~3) of the video. In order to get thumbs to stop and people to watch, plan for strong creative from the first frame on.
Incremental value goes beyond the first few seconds. What ultimately matters is the content and story. While people tend to watch short videos, they will watch long videos as long as the longer videos are telling good stories.
As part of McDonald’s’ global World Cup campaign, for instance, the Creative Shop at Facebook (alongside OMD, ARC Sponsorship and Framestore) re-created the most spectacular moments of the day with a real-time video campaign starring McDonald’s’ iconic French fries as fans, coaches and players in a stadium created from McDonald’s packaging. The FryFutbol campaign resulted in well over 400 million impressions and reached over 125 million unique people (80 percent of whom were on mobile) across 158 countries.
Design for sound off and add value for sound on: With people watching more videos on their mobile phones throughout the day, use video that works well with and without sound so people are engaged even if a video is playing silently inline. Consider a text overlay that doesn’t require audio.
Focus on your overall campaign objectives: Strong campaigns use a combination of creative assets, such as both photo and video. Brands should optimize their creative for different screens, devices and connection speeds to reach people in the most compelling and effective way.
And a Facebook Media post offered further advice for content creators:
The most important thing to remember when creating video for Facebook is that it will be a part of News Feed. As a creator, you should be conscious that people will discover your video in News Feed next to a photo from a friend or a status update from a relative. Your video needs to fit in, and it needs to be something that your audience will want to watch and share.
With the launch of auto-play and the surge in mobile use, it’s also important to focus on posting videos that grab people from the first frame of video. Shorter, timely video content tends to do well in News Feed. Keep in mind that auto-play videos play silently in News Feed until someone taps to hear sound, so videos that catch people’s attention even without sound often find success.
Whether you’re a journalist in the field or a public figure sharing a part of your life, post raw videos that are compelling, shareable clips that no one else will have.
Finally, it’s important to know what your audience likes. Look at your video insights to understand what people enjoy seeing, and what doesn’t work so well.
Readers: How often do you engage with videos on Facebook?