Facebook is testing a video feed as it increasingly tries to capitalize on the growing popularity of Facebook-native video posts.
Last fall, Facebook gave an update on its video efforts saying that growth in video views had exceeded 50% from May through July of last year, and that it had logged an average of over a billion video views every day (with 65% of them happening on mobile). In a new blog post this week, the company said video has continued to grow since that update and has become "an integral part of how people around the world discover, watch and share videos they care about every day."
A couple months ago, Facebook began letting public figures share live video with fans via its Mentions app, and now says it has since sen thousands of "authentic and candid" live videos from Vin Diesel, Serena Williams and many others.
Last month, Facebook rolled out 360 video, which lets users view videos from all angles. This is ideal for a virtual reality experience, and can also be viewed right from the News Feed.
Facebook has been testing a number of other video features including suggested videos (testing on iPhone with web/Android support on the way) and a floating video player that continues playing as the user scrolls through their news feed.
The company recognizes, however, that people often want a dedicated place for videos when they're ready to do some real viewing.
"Lastly, we’ll be testing a dedicated place on Facebook for people to go when they exclusively want to watch video—whether that’s videos they’ve saved for later, or videos from friends, Pages they follow, and other video publishers on Facebook," explains Will Cathcart, VP of Product Management. "This new videos section helps people discover, watch and share videos on Facebook that are relevant to them. It can be accessed by tapping a “Videos” icon at the bottom of the Facebook app on iPhone or in the “Favorites” section on the left-hand side of News Feed on the web. We’ll be testing this with a small number of people now, so this isn’t something most people will see on Facebook right away. We look forward to seeing how people use it to discover, watch and share videos with their friends."
We've heard that Facebook is building a standalone video app, which would could go a long way in increasing the views of Facebook videos in the living room, assuming it's supported by major connected TV devices, such as Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, etc.
Facebook has been posing more and more of a threat to YouTube in terms of taking away more of its ad dollars, and these moves should only serve to fuel that.
For cord cutters, these experiences should only further justify the move away from cable and traditional television. There are certainly experiences the Internet is still unable to replicate, but the availability and convenience of more and more online content continues to provide alternative viewing options. Ultimately, there's only so much time in the day for watching videos, and people already spending a whole lot of time with Facebook.