Facebook’s attempts to convince advertisers to spend more on video have been handed a boost after the social network revealed the amount of user-generated and branded content in news feeds worldwide more than tripled in 2014.
The social network registered the increase as 3.6 times more than the previous year. It reflects video’s growing popularity on Facebook with it reporting that the number of posts per person has increased 75 per cent globally and 94 per cent in the US.
On average, more than half of people who return to Facebook daily in the US watch at least one video every day, it claimed. More than two thirds of these video views (65 per cent) are taking place on mobile, pushing up the value of adverts on the medium.
Facebook was the only one of its major rivals to report an uplift in the value of its mobile ads in its latest financial quarter, a sign that the investments it has made in video are starting to bare fruit.
It hit a new milestone for video on Facebook achieving one billion daily video views in the period, while last summer’s Ice Bucket Challenge challenge drew more than 10 billion video views by 440 million people.
Mark D’Arcy, chief creative officer of Facebook’s Creative Shop, said the video explosion was indicative of a shift to a visual language – one that includes photos, emojis, stickers and videos and increasingly mobile.
Facebook has been pushing to convince advertisers of the merits of video on its platform, hoping a shift to the more expensive ad from traditional display forms can both swell its coffers and create a more premium experience for users.
“Expressing ideas through film is a core aspect of how creative people love to bring ideas to life,” added D’Arcy. “With the explosive growth of video on Facebook, it is exciting to see News Feed become the centre of discovery for this work. We are only just starting to unlock the potential of sight, sound and motion in a feed-driven world.”
The company’s PR blitz around the reach of its video offering chimes with wider efforts to push advertisers into investing in paid-for not organic reach to target their fans. The business is positioning its News Feeds as a space where brands can reach engaged users if the content and distribution strategies are properly planned.
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg highlighted the plan during its last earnings call in October. He said: “There is also a lot of great public content that’s video, especially the shorter form content that they are mentioning I think will fit very well into the feed form factor that people consume on Facebook. So I think we’re going to see a lot of both of these things and it’s going to be an evolution over the next few years. But I think you can expect to see a ramp up of all this.”
Facebook generated $11.35bn in digital advertising revenues in 2014, significantly short of Google’s $45.53bn, according to eMarketer. Despite its shortfall, the social network’s digital advertising revenue growth jumped 62 per cent last year in comparison to Google’s 18.8 per cent.