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The Evolution Of Video on Social Networks

Following on from the Ad Ops series last month, we will once again take a look at video advertising, how it has evolved and continues to evolve, from a social point of view.

Since the early beginnings of Facebook, video has always been there, but not in the same way as we know it today. Links to YouTube in posts were the norm, but they were few and far between. First there were status updates, and then photos started to be uploaded, then came the craze of ‘checking in’ to varying locations, and now uploading your own video content.


Facebook have been very open about the fact that they are now penalising users and brands who post links to YouTube, as opposed to a video hosted native within Facebook. Their algorithm now favours native videos, even going so far as to guarantee a higher reach when using a video as opposed to an outside source. Twitter too, have been quietly going about the same strategy; we now have to go into the YouTube app on mobile in order to view the video.

From the media side, we are seeing huge prices when we run a YouTube video on social instead of the very low prices we have become accustomed to with native video. And we fully expect these prices to decrease even further as time goes on and more users begin to allow auto play on their newsfeed.

Video is booming on social media- partly due to the increase in internet speeds and more of the population having access to the internet. Even in Ireland today, networks promise unlimited data with their price plans, which can only help video grow even further. Facebook now expect to earn $3.8 billion from video advertising alone by 2017.

With the use of video rising by the day, Facebook could be regarded as being in the best position to capture this trend. Individuals want to capture and share moments through the use of photos and videos, and there’s nothing more quick or personal than to share a moment through video to those who are close to you.

Twitter have been making great strides in order to capture this audience too, only recently are users able to take a video, edit it, and then upload it directly on their Twitter accounts. With regards to the advertising side, Twitter’s video service offering is still in beta, but the results so far have been very promising, especially once this is coupled with Twitter’s unique targeting options.

vid post shares social

As was discussed in the Ad Ops series last month, brands have been just editing their TV offerings in order to push videos across social. However, we are beginning to see a shift in this trend. More and more brands are creating video content just for social media; whether this is a behind the scenes video of the ads being created, or something entirely different. This trend is what will ultimately drive the revenue which Facebook are expecting.

Another reason for the rise of video on social is due to auto play videos. I know many people aren’t happy with this feature, but it is easy to see how this has really helped video become the norm that it is today.

Currently, Facebook video ads are auto playing on both mobile and desktop- providing you have the feature turned on. I personally like this feature, and I constantly find myself enjoying videos that I wouldn’t necessarily click to view in the first place. Twitter has also announced that they will be testing the auto play feature in the US, although they have promised to go down a different route compared with full auto play videos.

 It will definitely be interesting to see how this develops in the future. Social media sites will be fighting to provide the best in class video offering, while brands will also be fighting to produce the best video content that engages fans.

The only downside to videos on Facebook and Twitter is that it’s very hard to search for videos that you want—instead you can only really watch what is in your feed at the time, or at the top of a brand page. However, we fully expect this to change over the coming months as videos become more prominent across all social networks.

Maybe Facebook will soon be the place you go to watch endless cat videos.

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