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Social media giant Facebook takes video to new level

Communication and expression on the internet is evolving. Today, people share stories, opinions, pictures and now videos with each other on a regular basis. Facebook continues to be a leader in social media, facilitating the exchange of ideas and interests.

Lately Facebook has been revamping their site to allow for easier uploading and viewing of video. Also, public relations executives at all types of companies and organizations are learning that Facebook is a primary platform for sharing products and content with the public.

Recently Beyoncé shared a video with her fans showing the preparation involved in putting on her next live performance. The video was viewed 2.4 million times in approximately four hours. 

"Facebook has become the primary platform that we use to communicate content to fans," said Lauren Wirtzer Seawood, head of digital at Parkwood Entertainment, Beyoncé's management company.

While YouTube is still the leader in online video, Facebook is quickly carving out a space for itself in that sphere. Facebook currently has 1.3 billion monthly users that view 1 billion videos a day. Two-thirds of those videos are viewed on mobile devices. Video views climbed 50% from May to July this year.

One recent development which contributes to the growth is Facebook playing videos automatically in users' news feeds, with the sound off. This allows users to scroll through and catch a glimpse of something that might interest them. Facebook will also add a public counter to show users how many times a video has been viewed. People generally watch videos that the most amount of users found interesting. Video creators are continually striving to understand what type of video does best on Facebook.

Which videos work best
The BBC found that breaking news tends to do better on Twitter, where users are always looking for recent developments in particular areas. Facebook however is best suited for raw, personal or closed-circuit footage. An example of this is the ALS ice bucket challenge. Between June and September, more than 17 million videos were shared. They were viewed more than 10 billion times by 440 million people.

BuzzFeed Motion believes Facebook is effective in spreading videos within particular interest groups or affiliations. BuzzFeed videos play without sound, with words on the screen, to be quickly scrolled through and understood. BuzzFeed video shares grew by 160% from June to July and by 200% from July to August. 

Discovery Channel has similarly been using the auto-play video feature on Facebook. Derek Dodge, director of digital programming, believes that video is more effective at engaging a wider span of users.

"Hands down, almost in every instance the video posts outperform any other content types in terms of overall reach and engagement," said Dodge, director of digital programming for the cable network.

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