Facebook’s Newest Video Trends
Updated September 25, 2018.
“I see video as a megatrend. That’s why I’m going to keep putting video first across our family of apps.” – Mark Zuckerberg
With over 2 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the most widely used social media platform available on web and mobile devices today, according to Pew Research Center. And in 2018, digital content is set to conquer the platform itself.
Facebook 360 is a panoramic feature that can only be used effectively on the Facebook app. When viewed on a computer, the panoramic video appears in full. However, when viewed on the Facebook app, the video can be fully experienced as the app user rotates their phone. This feature is fantastic for content providers who want to share their message through an engaging medium. This feature will also assist in steering Facebook into a more app-based direction, away from computer use.
“360 can take you into the action with your favorite sports teams, bring you behind the scenes at awards shows, transport you to beautiful places around the world, and put you at the center of breaking news moments like never before,” says Facebook newsroom.
National Geographic regularly posts 360 videos on Facebook showcasing natural parks and environmental landscapes. In March 2016, National Geographic uploaded a 360 video of active volcano Klyuchevskoy while it was erupting. The video has 7.8 million views on Facebook and 116,000 shares.
The use of 360 video here provides viewers with a unique perspective they otherwise wouldn’t get. The opportunity to witness a high quality, immersive video of a volcano erupting is rare. This use of an alternate reality video experience is unique and allows the audience to have a more interactive experience with the content.
Facebook Live is a program that allows any Facebook user to record and stream videos in real time. The videos are recorded through smartphone cameras and streamed onto Facebook.
Facebook launched a campaign to promote the program in 2016 to increase awareness and understanding. The ad campaign was broken into two stages: the first focused on increasing awareness of the format, and the second was a tutorial phase. The ads highlighted the fun and spontaneity of Facebook Live by featuring real videos by real users.
“The creative is meant to be as authentic as going Live is” (Tim Nudd, AdWeek).
Benefit Cosmetics does a great job of using Facebook Live. The company records live videos consistently throughout the week, in a similar way to scheduled television programming. Benefit livestreams for 30 minute programs titled “Tipsy Tricks” every Thursday at 4pm.
In the videos, Benefit employees get together, drink, and talk about makeup and skin care. Through the livestream service, Facebook watchers are able to send in their comments or questions and the employees can respond in real time. This is successful because it creates an organic, personal bond between the audience and the brand. The live stream makes viewers feel as though they are casual friends spending time together.
Other apps have embraced the same idea. For example, Instagram and Snapchat are rooted in providing visual and video content among users. Instagram Live allows users to share videos that will not be available for later viewing after 24 hours have passed, while Facebook Live videos can remain on the social networking site and app for as long as the creator wishes.
Snapchat videos are published on a user’s “story” and are shared with any followers, or viewers, of the user’s choosing. One of the largest differences between these platforms is that Facebook Live videos can record up to 90 minutes of content, while Snapchat stories can only record in 10 second increments.
In August of 2017, Facebook launched Facebook Watch in the United States. In August of 2018, Facebook Watch was made available all over the globe. It is their video on demand service, which offers a place for users to discover new videos, catch up with creators they love, store videos for later viewing, explore videos that encourage viewer participation, like the new trivia game show, Confetti, and find series to keep up with every week.
It is similar to Netflix creating and promoting their own original shows. It is dissimilar to say, Youtube, because not just anyone can post – only people and companies who have been invited and approved to. For now, it is free and a great resource for interesting video content.
Green Buzz Agency has taken on the production and post-production of one of Facebook Watch’s new shows by Tegna, An Imperfect Union. In this show, every week is different. Set in different locations across the country, we meet two people who have very different viewpoints on a topic. For example, in the episode above, Matt is a 23-year veteran police officer, and Corry is a 27 year old who hasn’t had great experiences with police officers in the past. In each episode, these people come together to engage in civil discourse about their issues while working on a project that will benefit their community.
This series is perfect for Facebook Watch because the episodes are relatively short (roughly 7 minutes in length) and are applicable to everyone since both sides of every argument is presented. In today’s political and social climate, these subject matters are relevant, timely and important to discuss.
Recently, Facebook has stepped up their video game in innovative and groundbreaking ways. Whether you’re a fan of Facebook 360, Facebook Live or Facebook Watch, it’s undeniable that video has become an important part of Facebook’s branding and will only continue to grow in the coming years.
Katie Murray was a marketing intern for Green Buzz Agency. She reported on the latest trends in video production and video marketing.
Alanna Goodman contributed to this post.