You may have noticed Facebook’s new “related videos” screen that offers similar, relevant and popular video content to mobile users when they finish watching footage from within their news feed.
When your current video has finished, you will have the option to play it again or chose another one that has been recommended by Facebook based on their new algorithm. Although the layout isn’t quite the same, this is a similar mechanism to the one that you will have seen at the end of the countless procrastinating videos watched on YouTube.
Speaking of YouTube, those videos don’t count. It’s only files uploaded directly to Facebook which offer this function. Anything pulled in from an external URL or platform such as Vine, Vimeo or YouTube, will simply end as normal.
The feature was first tested on a small group of iOS and Android users. On the 8th July, Mashable published a blog which detailed a conversation with Facebook who “confirmed the new feature, but didn’t elaborate on when it will be more widely available”.
“This is a new feature we are testing on mobile to help people find more videos they might be interested in” – A Facebook spokesperson told Mashable
Since that blog, it seems to have been rolled out a little further with more and more users now seeing the “related videos” screen on a frequent basis. It would appear that Facebook are gearing up for something big and commencing a large push on the video front.
So what does this mean for a user?
It comes at a time when video content seems to be a key focus in the progression of Facebook. June’s news feed algorithm tweak has depicted how the social network is now analysing a users actions, each time they watch a video. Aside from the obvious likes and comments on a post, they are also tracking data on how long you watch the video for. By gathering this information, Zuckerberg’s platform can then cipher through content to find more popular and relevant footage in an attempt to display higher-quality videos. Hooray, we can finally wave goodbye to the annoying daily dose of ‘funny’ cat clips!
In addition, and not surprisingly, Facebook will also be keeping track of how frequently you watch them. Something of which advertisers will be keen to know. One of the most recent updates suggests that those of you who regularly watch videos will begin to see more of them in your news feed.
So with all this in place, could we potentially begin to see an influx of video advertisements in the coming months?
We think so.
Should advertisers take note?
Think about it. If Facebook can tell what type of videos your audience wants to see, and how often they want to see them, then video content is about to be worth a whole lot more. Traditional Facebook ads, and the Facebook exchange, will no longer be the same. Advertisers are likely to have the options of targeting their desired audience with relevant and engaging videos by selecting interests, ages groups, locations and so on. With sponsored videos being made more available just around the corner, companies can really increase their brand awareness. Using the targeting options i just mentioned, not only are you hitting the right people, but your videos will be shown to the ones that actually watch them, making sure that all advertisers get more bang for their buck.
It would also make sense if, in addition to videos ads in the news feed, Facebook were to adapt their new “related videos” screen to include a sponsored video option. It’s all adding up now.
With the likes of Instagram videos, Snapchat, Vine and Slingshot becoming increasingly more popular, there’s never been a better time to start planning your next video.
So if you’re like us, and uber excited about the future that video content has in social media, get in touch via Kieran@www.stmsocial.co.uk and we see how we can can help.