The unstoppable rise of social media has been one of the most important and dramatic milestones of the technological revolution. The ubiquity of social media usage has transformed the way we live: from how we communicate with each other, to how we spend our leisure time, and how businesses promote their brands. There are many social media platforms, of course, but the undisputed champion is still Facebook, with around 900,000,000 unique monthly users as calculated by the eBizMBA system, leaving second placed Twitter trailing with approximately 310,000,000 unique monthly users. When Facebook talks, people in media and business listen, so their pronouncements on content and video growth will cause waves.
YouTube has been the video hosting site of choice for many years now, and its size and reputation makes it hard to challenge, but now Facebook has announced its intention to take the Google-owned site on. At a recent technology conference in California, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, announced that Facebook aims to become a key platform for video content, with an emphasis on public rather than premium content. Since its flotation there have been questions about how the social media giant would monetize its vast following, but Sandberg has emphatically stated that they want free to air video content, rather than making users pay for it. It ties in nicely with their desire to provide more convenience for their users, allowing them to access news, entertainment and information when they want, and wherever they want.
The Growth Of Video On Facebook
Facebook are relative newcomers in the online video market, but already they’re having a significant impact with over 3 billion video views on the site per day, treble the viewing figures they had in the summer.
The number of videos appearing in user’s newsfeeds has risen by 360% in just a year, and, as Sheryl Sandberg wanted, people aren’t just watching videos on Facebook, they’re creating them too. In just one year, the number of videos posted to Facebook in the United States has increased by 94%, with a 75% increase worldwide.
What This Means For Video Creators And Broadcasters
The rise of Facebook as a video hosting channel can be great news for creatives in the video field, as it opens a significant new channel and breaks the near monopoly of YouTube. Twitter too is launching an on-platform video surface, backed by some of the people behind YouTube’s immense success. Whilst Facebook is adamant that it doesn’t want users to have to pay to watch videos on its site, there will still be great opportunities for video creators to monetize content by broadcasting it to such a huge potential audience. Once again, social media is at the forefront of changes to how we think of content, and how we watch it.