As a person who commutes to work via the train I am a mass consumer of social media. If you look around almost every person is holding their phone swiping through their various social feeds. The interesting thing that I have recently noticed is that more and more people are holding their phones with two hands. What could possibly get someone to pause their incessant swiping? Video!

Our social preferences have shifted from liking posts and commenting on pictures to watching videos. Whether catching up on the news or sports, watching a sketch from the Jimmy Fallon show or checking out some cool new product, video has become a major part of the mobile and social experience.

Recently Facebook reported that they have more than 3 billion video views every day. The aspect of this boom in video that they probably don’t “like” (pun intended) is that most videos are not hosted on their platform; most are on YouTube. In order to watch them people have to leave Facebook.

During f8, the Facebook Developer Conference, they announced they are opening up their video API to certain trusted partners.
f8 announcement

Giving partners, like SocialFlow, access to the Video API provides end users the ability to better target and customize options that allow them to reach their audiences. These targeting enhancements entice publishers and brands to host their content directly on the social giant’s platform in order to more effectively reach their desired audiences.

Keeping people on Facebook, rather than linking out, provides a more seamless and optimal user experience. It also makes the channel itself more valuable since the end-to-end engagement is happening all in one place. Facebook is working diligently to make their network a unified advertising and publishing solution that is superior in supporting every format of media.

In addition to opening up the API they stated they are taking a mobile first approach. With over 65% of videos views on Facebook being on mobile it makes total sense. It is an omni-channel world and mobile is steadily growing in its overall percentage of usage. While mobile still takes a back seat to the desktop in regards to driving conversions (whatever that is for your business) it is most certainly a more influential channel for driving engagement. Social, as a channel, also plays a tremendously important role in audience engagement which is why the two are so perfectly paired.

More publishers are beginning to launch “film studios” to support the demand for video. As the major social networks expand their development in video it makes it impossible for media organizations to not follow their lead. But just because you create great videos doesn’t mean that you will get the views. You still need the tools that will give you the insights that will drive both reach and engagement.

In general these companies are looking for more data-driven methods to improve their social media performance. As a Facebook Media Solutions partner we have access to the trends, topic insights, hash-tag counter and topic search API’s that gives these companies the competitive advantage they are looking for.

It’s hard to imagine what will be next in the social-sphere but I know I am personally excited about it. This is a fast paced and ever changing online world. This is what makes it both an opportunity and challenge.