FaceBook’S 25% Increase In Video Views & The Need For Premium Content

Photo of Tim Mulligan
by Tim Mulligan

Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg rightly described Facebook 1st quarter Financial Results as “A strong start to the year” with a record 1.44 billion monthly active users on the site. On a daily basis this means that there are now a reported 936m daily active users consuming Facebook content. According to MIDiA’s latest survey data, 31% of US consumers now watch Facebook video daily, rising to 39% among 16-24 year olds. With Facebook now actively promoting video engagement strategies on the platform there has been an inevitable increase in videos viewed by users. Yesterday’s milestone of 4 billion video views means that Facebook has experienced a quadrupling of video views over the last 12 months. In addition it rolled out an embedded video player to distribute videos to third party platforms which resulted in 80,000 embedded videos on ancillary sites.

Who’s Viewing Facebook Videos

These huge viewing figures are caveated by the fact that the Facebook autoplays videos which are counted as a view after 3 seconds by the sites analytic software. And herein lies a crucial difference between Facebook and the world’s largest video sharing site-YouTube. A Facebook user experiences video as a part of the their regular user journey on the platform rather than actively seeking video content out. A YouTube viewer however specifically seeks out video content. Advertisers therefore need to be wary of like for like viewing comparisons.

Interestingly in the earnings statement is was announced that 75% of Facebook videos are viewed on mobile. This statistic skewers the potential audience towards the 25-44 year old age group which have majority smart phone ownership.

Transforming The Push Into A Pull Factor

Social drives video engagement and video cements social connections. Facebook's vast installed user base is inevitably driving its big reported numbers. The challenge for Facebook is to convert a by-product of social media interaction (opportunistically viewing video content whilst socially browsing) into a compelling stand alone audience driver. Expect more partnerships with premium content providers such as the NFL and ABC to enable this to pull factor to come to the fore.

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