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YouTubeAds

Finding the right length for video ads can be a tricky balancing act. Too short and you can’t get your message across. Too long and you annoy or lose your viewers’ interest. Apparently, 30-second ads fail this tightrope walk, as YouTube has officially announced it will be doing away with 30-second unskippable ads starting next year.

In place of these ads, Google says it will focus on more interactive or user-based advertising.

“We’re committed to providing a better ads experience for users online. As part of that, we’ve decided to stop supporting 30-second unskippable ads as of 2018 and focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers,” a YouTube spokesperson told AdWeek via email.

Of course, this doesn’t mean YouTube is ridding itself of all unskippable ads. The platform will still sell 15-second and 20-second ads that don’t give viewers the option to skip to their content. Additionally, viewers are likely to see an influx of six-second “bumper ads” instead of full-length ads that you can skip after five seconds.

Ultimately, 30-second unskippable ads lose too many viewers along the way. Some get distracted during the interval, while others entirely refuse to wait that long for their content. There is still plenty of time to make use of any ad campaigns you’ve been planning, but the decision to move away from this ad format underscores the ineffective nature of the format.

Video finally came into its own as a content marketing format over the past year, with the launch of 360-degree videos, Facebook Live, and all sorts of new features for video marketing on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

It was only a matter of time, as video has been a huge part of the online ecosystem since the launch of YouTube all those years ago. Currently, estimates suggest up to 78% of all people watch videos online every week and 55% percent make it a daily activity.  That means if you have been ignoring online video as a marketing channel for your business, you’re missing out on a huge and highly engaged audience.

With the start of the new year, many businesses are considering finally making video marketing a part of their larger advertising strategy. If you aren’t, you might want to reconsider. This infographic created by HighQ shows exactly why 2017 is poised to be the year video marketing blows up. You don’t want to be lagging behind when it does.

Video Marketing Infographic

instagramlive

Considering the success of live video on Facebook and other social media platforms, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that Instagram is trying its hand with live video. But, they have put their own twist on it.

Today, the social photo and video sharing platform announced it is rolling out live video within their Instagram Stories section. However, these videos don’t remain once you stop streaming. Instead, they immediately disappear.

The feature is already rolling out and is expected to be available to everyone around the world within the next few weeks. Users are able to share live video for up to an hour and control their streams by notifying friends when they go live and deciding whether to allow comments.

“Live video on Instagram Stories helps you connect with your friends and followers right now,” according to a blog post announcing the update. “When you’re done, your live story disappears from the app so you can feel more comfortable sharing anything, anytime.”

All you have to do to start streaming is swipe right from the home feed and tap the “Start Live Video” button. You can also see who else is live streaming in the Explore area of the app, under the “Top Live” category.

Live video isn’t the only thing disappearing on Instagram, either. The platform is also rolling out the option to have automatically self-destructing photo or video messages when sending direct messages to friends and groups.

The feature operates almost exactly like Snapchat’s well known disappearing photos, which allow users to share content in a “spontaneous, pressure-free way.”

“You can choose a group or create one in just a few taps—and you can also send to individual friends at the same time,” Instagram wrote in a blog post. “Send anything you want, from inside jokes to your worst selfies. Unlike other messages in Direct, these photos and videos disappear from your friends’ inboxes after they have seen them. And you’ll see if they replayed it or took a screenshot.”

facebook-video

If you’re a business that publishes content on Facebook, you have good reason to be frustrated. This week, the company announced they’d be de-emphasizing publisher-posted content in users’ news feeds in order to better highlight posts from friends and family, which means it will be even more difficult to break through to a wider audience. But, new data from SocialFlow may show there is still a way to reach tons of users through Facebook.

According to SocialFlow’s report, video content shared across Facebook is outperforming almost any other type of content when it comes to content reach. The social analytics company shares more than half a million stories each month to Facebook and other social networks on behalf of publishers.

SocialFlow recently analyzed 30 days of video content to gauge the total reach, likes, and shares in comparison to other types of content. What they found showed that while other types of content are drastically dropping in reach across the network, video is actually going up.

SocialFlow presented their findings via Facebook Live this week, showing that video made up just 0.9 percent of all posts but accounted for 7.15 percent of reach, 5.2 percent of likes, and 11.1 percent of shares. Of course, the company cautioned that the results don’t represent all publishers, it may mean some are actually seeing even better performance.

“It’s clear that media companies are increasingly turning to video to maximize their reach and audience engagement,” SocialFlow CEO Jim Anderson told Adweek. “We’ve heard plenty of anecdotal reports of strong video performance, and now we have the data to back up the anecdotes.”

The data also excluded Facebook Live video, which is being strongly promoted by the social network – Facebook has even started paying some publishers large amounts of money to encourage use of the format.  Anderson also said he “wouldn’t be surprised” to see video posts grow to account for 5 to 10 percent of total post volume within the next six to 12 months.

The findings show that while many brands and advertisers have been slow to take up Facebook Video, those that have are seeing promising results that suggest it may be the next big thing for publishers stymied by dropping reach through traditional content formats.

Twitter Banner

The magic number for Twitter appears to be 140. The social network built its platform around 140 character tweets, and now it is taking a similar approach with its video service by limiting videos to 140 seconds, according to a recent announcement.

Twitter has allowed users to share videos on its network since last year, but the videos have been limited to 30-seconds maximum until now. The only exception was for a select number of advertisers who could post videos up to 10 minutes long. Now, users are getting a taste of that creative freedom with videos that go slightly beyond 2 minutes long.

The change will also be having an impact on the Twitter-owned Vine, which is known for looping 6-second-long micro-videos. Now, Vines can be used to preview or promote twitter videos which can be viewed by clicking the new “Watch more” button.

According to the company’s announcement, video tweets have gone up by over 50% since the start of this year and these new changes will allow more flexibility for users.

Along with this news, Twitter also announced that iOS and Android users are getting a new viewing mode which shows Vines or Twitter videos in a full-screen mode along with suggested videos.

Instagram Banner

It has been almost three years since Instagram stretched its legs and expanded to video, but in all this time it has been missing a crucial feature – view counts. While the other giants in social video like YouTube, Facebook, and Vine have let users see how many times a video has been played, Instagram has been slow to add any view count feature to their platform. Until now.

Instagram has announced it will soon be adding a counter that includes everyone who has watched at least three seconds of a video.

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The company says the feature will be rolling out over the “coming weeks” and will show alongside the existing like and comment counts.

The feature could be beneficial for advertisers on two fronts. On one hand, it will be greatly useful to simply be able to see what their most popular content is in a more direct way than with like and comment counts. While those show engagement levels, a view count will be a much better indicator if video reach.

Secondly, as Twitter has recently seen, when users see that others are watching and interacting with content, they are more likely to view, engage, and share that content. By letting other users see that your videos are popular with other users, you also see a chance at increasing your total view counts overall.

For more information on how Instagram will roll out view counts in the next few weeks, check out the official announcement from Instagram.

Before long, Facebook’s video service is going to look a lot like YouTube. Facebook announced several new features to their mobile app that will seem very familiar to YouTube users and will make videos an even larger part of the Facebook platform than before.

Among the features is the new ability to collapse videos into a floating window, so you can browsing your Facebook seamlessly while you watch a video. The change will make watching videos on the platform less of an interruption and more a part of the experience.

Facebook is also testing implementing a new list of recommended videos to watch next after users finish watching a video. If you don’t see something that piques your interest, you can also look in the all new dedicated Facebook video feed, where you’ll find nothing but user shared videos.

The dedicated video feed acts much like your normal News Feed, but exclusively for video and can be found by tapping the “Videos” icon along the bottom navigation menu of the Facebook app.

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If you see something you think you might want to watch, but can’t at the immediate moment for some reason, you can now save it for later, allowing you to easily return when you are someplace more suitable for watching video. All your saved videos can be easily found in the “Saved” bookmark in the menu.

Facebook is still working out the kinks on most of these new features, so don’t expect them to be rolled out too soon. Instead, it appears the new features will see a slow testing and rollout phase, with no telling when we will see a full launch.

 

FacebookVideo

As Facebook’s video platform continues to grow in popularity, the social media giant is releasing a new set of tools aimed at making it easier for Page owners to control and manage their video content.

Now, when Page admins upload videos they will have new distribution and customization options available, such as setting for making a secret video or assigning an expiration date. Below is a full rundown of the new video options available for Page admins:

  • Secret videos: Upload non-discoverable videos that are accessible only via a direct URL.
  • Audience restrictions: Restrict who can watch a video based on age and gender.
  • Expiration date: Set a date for a video to be automatically removed from Facebook, while retaining all the insights data.
  • Prohibit third-party embeds
  • Upload without distributing in News Feed
  • Customize thumbnails
  • Tag videos by category
  • Edit video metadata

Along with these new options, Facebook announced it is introducing a new section under the Publishing Tools tab called ‘Video Library’. This tab will allow Page owners to manage all of their video content easily in one place.

Facebook is becoming a formidable competitor to YouTube, and could potentially bypass Google’s video service in video views in the near future. With these new features, Page admins have more reason than ever to give Facebook’s video platform a try.

Facebook says all of these upgrades will be rolled out globally to Pages “over the coming weeks.”