Remember when you used to login to your Facebook profile just to see what your friends did on Saturday night? People had dozens of photo albums documenting everything from their relationships to their adventures to their pets and everything in between. Although some people still use Facebook in that way – millennial parents are especially prone to over-sharing photos of their families – the majority of young millennials are now primarily using Facebook post and re-share video content.
Facebook has become the place for “passive scrollers.” Users are becoming less active on the site and are instead turning to Facebook to scroll through headlines and videos. Most of their inspiration and action is happening on other platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, which enable users to share visual inspiration with each other. According to Pew Research, teens today have a “waning enthusiasm” for the Facebook community. What lead to this social shift? Let’s dive in.
Video killed the photo star
Facebook has taken advantage of the millennial love for video, making it easier than ever for users to watch and then share videos with their friends.
It recently reported that users watch about 3 billion videos each day on the site, and according to techcrunch.com, that’s one billion more videos viewed than pictures shared. Facebook has clearly evolved from a social platform utilizing texts and pictures to one that focuses mainly on video content, and it’s working. In Q4 of 2014, for example, Facebook made $3.59 billion from companies advertising on the site.
The social media giant has the luxury of giving its clients highly targeted advertising by gathering information from its users – that means that everything you do on Facebook is being tracked and leveraged for more personalized advertising. Therefore, brands can be assured that the users seeing their content are actually interested in what they have to offer.
New video content on Facebook is naturally causing fierce competition with YouTube, which has historically been the owner of video sharing. There are plenty of reasons why users and marketers are moving from YouTube to Facebook. First, with the advent of auto play, videos play automatically when you scroll through your newsfeed. It’s less time-consuming than closing the window to search your video in YouTube. The “shareability” of Facebook videos is also a factor. It is much more difficult to share a video via YouTube as opposed to the one-click solution offered by Facebook. Additionally, Facebook videos have fewer ads than YouTube, which is often a pain point for YouTube users.
Clearly, video is here to stay. Brands that understand how to effectively create video content that hooks viewers quickly will see heightened success in number of shares and views. And Facebook isn’t stopping anytime soon. Almost weekly, we see Facebook rolling out new and improved video advertising techniques that will only continue to position them as a key player in any brand’s marketing strategy.