Facebook Captures Our Attention Again: Anthology & the Universal Language of Video

Video has very much been the buzzword in social so far this year, and the competition is certainly heating up. In its Q1 2015 earnings call last week, Mark Zuckerberg reported that Facebook has seen 4 billion video views per day, tripling the amount from this time last year. Celebrating its 10th birthday, YouTube also continues to be a dominant force in the video realm, supporting over 6 billion hours worth of viewable content.

It’s not that video content is new to social by any means, but social platforms and marketers are getting smarter about how to package video in a more compelling and engaging way. Both Twitter and Facebook, for instance, now provide native video players that allow for a better viewing experience and more intuitive sharing capabilities. Instagram now allows for looping – no doubt taking cues from Tumblr and Vine, whose brief, playful and entertaining loops keep us laughing and sharing. Video has become a universal language, allowing us to engage with people in more powerful, meaningful ways that transcend language barriers. Storytelling in video brings people together through shared experiences – after all, most of us are wired to feel more closely connected to a story, especially one we can relate to.

Facebook has definitely captured the full attention of brands, as the platform receives more than 80% of all video interactions across social platforms.  The challenge is for brands to understand what type of video content is appropriate for various social media channels. For instance, content on Tumblr, which generally has much more creative flexibility due to a more “artsy” audience, is not going to perform the same way on Facebook.   Another challenge for brands is limited internal bandwidth and capable resources for creating video content that is going to meet the consumer desire to be entertained.  For both of these reasons, Facebook’s announcement of Anthology should be very appealing to brands who are struggling to fight through competing content noise with the right type of video content.  Facebook’s capability to now assist brands with developing relevant video, as well as providing audience targeting recommendations for even greater content visibility and relevance, is not only a huge competitive win for Facebook, but an incredible win for brands who have struggled to implement a successful video strategy due to internal limitations. With partners like The Onion, Vox Media, Funny or Die and Oh My Disney, brands will have access to a group of digital publishers that are some of the most successful players in viral content. It will certainly be interesting to watch this development roll out over the next several months, as Facebook makes the play for video supremacy.

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