Visual Content - that’s the new buzz word in the digital age. Articles are slowly losing importance, while as an alternative more and more users are sharing their images and videos with their Facebook friends. The social network Facebook has reacted to this trend and might be, once again, one step ahead of their competitors. The latest features and functions offer users and advertisers a variety of different possibilities to share their visual content.
For quite a while now Facebook users have had the possibility of uploading videos to their personal profiles. The video function has been updated continuously and optimized over the years. Today videos are a very important part of sharable and compelling content.
The Ice Bucket Challenge made it very clear that uploading videos is en vogue. Therefore one must admit that Facebook hit the bullseye by making the decision of evaluating the uploaded videos as a "mobile-first product”. A total of 65 percent of all video views come from mobile devices - and the development indicates that this number will increase even more in the future.
Facebook announced in their newsroom on 08. September 2014 that their numbers speak for themselves: After the introduction of the "Auto-Play function" which took place in between May and July 2014, the number of video views actually increased by almost 50 percent. Currently the social network has more than one billion video views per day. In comparison YouTube, the biggest Internet video platform in the world, only has four billion video views per day.
The first innovation this year was the release of the "Auto Play" function. This function enables videos to play automatically without any sound as soon as they appear in the news feed. Recently Facebook introduced a new video feature: With the new update users can now see the number of views of their published videos in the future.
The newly introduced feature is especially great for advertising. This is a huge advantage compared to conventional display ads, where users need to click first (apart from YouTube ads that start to play before the content starts). Companies and advertisers will also be able measure their reach and popularity to see how their video content has been performing. Publishers now also have the possibility to include a video-related link to the end of a video.
The fact that users now see content faster than before should stimulate the interaction with users. This is why another innovation is currently being tested on mobile devices. The new feature will suggest another related video to the user after watching the first video.