Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Facebook's Auto-Play Video

Facebook's new auto-play video feature — in which videos in the stream begin playing as the user scrolls past — is a clear indication of how important social media is becoming for video discovery says Cooper Smith.

Facebook's new feature is not just for ads, it's also for user-generated and user-shared videos. With this change, Facebook eliminates yet another moment of friction between viewer, and video content.

In a recent report from BI Intelligence, we look at the power of social video and its growth trajectory, examine social video audiences and their demographics, analyze how marketers and advertisers are getting into the mix, compare the major social video platforms, and detail how social is influencing video as a content medium.

Here are some key developments in social video:

Social media-influenced video has eclipsed non-social video on the Web in terms of audience size: Online video audiences are expected to double in 2016, reaching 1.5 billion globally, according to Cisco. A majority now, and an increasingly significant portion of them in the future, will discover or watch video and TV content on social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and new mobile-focused social video apps like Vine. This is a big deal for content creators, whether they are filmmakers, amateurs, or brands. The social web has created a cost-effective way to distribute video. But the nature of what we watch and how we engage with video is also changing based on our appetite for social video discovery.

Teens, a sought-after demographic, love video: 

While data on the demographics of social video are scarce, teens seem to be highly represented. 
Vine is believed to have a very teen-oriented user base. BuzzFeed chose a small sample of 152 videos on the app and discovered that 80% of them were posted by teens.

Social media is having a profound effect on the video medium: 

Video length is shrinking, in part to accommodate the preferences of social media audiences who like to snack on video. The intersection of mobile devices and social media will likely be crucial to video's future. Videos are increasingly discovered and shared on mobile devices, but through social media channels. Video content that is well-suited to small screens and social contexts will do well.

Advertisers want to be associated with social video:

85% of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online video in April 2013, and video advertising is now up to 13.2 billion monthly views in the U.S. alone. Data shows that consumers are more likely to enjoy a brand video and remember the brand involved if they come across it thanks to a social media recommendation. Also, socially-referred video starts are more likely to be completed than non-social video, according to Adobe.

And social is key to the all-valuable viral video: Brands are keen to spur video virality. The push for “earned media” is driving this. For a brand, a video that goes “viral,” and earns millions of views on YouTube means that a brand has earned millions of impressions that it didn't have to pay for. Brands are experimenting with cracking the code to videos that will tap the right emotions and trigger mass sharing.

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