Facebook has been touting its major growth in video this month, and that continued on Wednesday afternoon as the company reported its earnings for the fourth quarter and full year 2014. On the company's earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that Facebook is, on average, seeing more than 3 billion video views per day. Zuck also shared this nice little graphic on Facebook:
COO Sheryl Sandberg said on the call (via SeekingAlpha's transcript):
Today, over 50% of people in the U.S. who come to Facebook daily watching at least one video per day and globally over 65% of Facebook video views occur on mobile. Marketers have followed this trend and are using video to help people discover and learn about their brands. In Q4, we expanded autoplay video ads internationally. During the holiday season, we saw many clients telling their stories creatively through video.
CFO Dave Wehner noted that Facebook will be investing more in infrastructure, including data centers, network, and servers to help support video and the company's Internet.org initiative.
During the Q&A session, Sandberg was asked about the degree she thinks premium video content is or isn't necessary to opt into when budgets might have otherwise gone to TV. She responded:
So on video ads what really matters is that consumers are using video on Facebook, because that gives us an opportunity, one, to provide a great consumer experience, but two, to have ads in ad-tech consumer experience. If the other consumer video on Facebook, video ads and new feed will be very joined, as a percentages of the video you’re seeing, video ads gets nicely into that experience. I think it matters as much what the video content is and so well we are certainly exploring some premium content as he said, we have an Annabelle Verizon test out there in the public ad. We’re already seeing pretty exclusive growth without that kind of premium content in the system in large numbers and so we’ll continue to figure out. We’re certainly open to increasing video content either way. But we haven’t quite figured out what the mix needs to be and right now the growth is very strong.
Because it provides the kind of sharing people want, people come to Facebook to share with their friends and family but they also come to Facebook to connect with everyone from politicians to journalist to celebrities they want to connect with and get news and we definitely seeing public content grow as a percentage of what people get. We also had some nice wins with the Golden Globe this year other things we are doing to get people doing some partnership we did [indiscernible] with CNBC to show how we can help content creators increased their distribution and reach people directly on Facebook.
One analyst asked about Facebook's native videos versus those shared from other third-party players (such as YouTube). Wehner responded:
This thought that we shared of 3 billion a day is all made on Facebook. So there are probably other shares from other video services as well. But the way that there was looking our services or as if there is links to other sites, and the reason why I think made a video is so valuable for people using our service is that when someone uploads a video to Facebook directly we can optimize how it delivers right. So we can make it autoplay. We can find the right quality and bit rate to send down to the person based on their connection overtime. And optimize all kinds of different things. So what I think people are finding from public figures to everyday videos that people are uploading is that the best experience that you can get is by uploading content native to Facebook, which is, I think the big part of the growth that we seeing there.
This is all pretty significant to marketers and worth considering in their video strategies. Brands on Facebook are already making more Facebook video posts than YouTube posts now, and these optimization additions Facebook offers will likely contribute to further growth in that trend, which is bad news for YouTube.
"Since YouTube relies heavily on the traffic Facebook sends to it, Facebook is now keeping that traffic on its own site," says a spokesperson for SocialBakers, which recently released a report on this subject.
CNBC shared an interview with Sandberg, in which she talked about video even more. The relevant quotes are as follows:
Consumer use of video is exploding. From the advertising side, that gives us an opportunity to do more monetization because our ad products always follow our consumer products. When consumers do more video, we have the ability to show more video ads. Video ads are really exciting for marketers because it is a format they are used to and they are very emotionally resonant. So we are seeing pretty broad adoption of video. We are still going to move slowly going forward, but we think there is a lot more we can do to bring video ads to people all over the world...
We are excited about what video does in terms of its conversion. Conversion for marketers. We also think the format itself really works. You know, if you think back even a year ago on Facebook, most people didn't see videos on Facebook. And now, video is an increasingly accepted and I think fun part of News Feed. And the same thing is happening with video ads. And I think we are seeing marketers bring real creativity and story telling to the Facebook experience with video ads.
Read this for some thoughts from a marketing consultant on how Facebook's video growth should affect your own video strategy.
Images via Facebook, SocialBakers