Study: Facebook's focus on 'meaningful interactions' doesn't slow video's explosive growth
- Amid a wave of algorithm changes and data privacy scandals impacting Facebook, video continues to outperform other content types on the platform by "a statistically significant margin," according to a new study by Likeable whose findings were made available to Marketing Dive. Live videos generate high volumes of comments, the digital agency found, and longer video performs slightly better, but there is little connection between video length and social interaction.
- The study, which analyzed changes on Facebook since it realigned News Feed to emphasize "meaningful interactions," suggested product launches drive more social engagement for entertainment and food and drink brands. Promos, giveaways and memes are also strong engagement drivers on Facebook. For other brands, behind-the-scenes content, corporate responsibility posts and thought leadership are top content categories.
- In related news, Facebook is adding two new metrics to the video retention graph in its video insights for Pages, according to Adweek. The metrics include a breakdown of audience retention by followers and non-followers of the page and retention by gender. The platform is additionally introducing a zoom chart that will let page administrators better monitor data in the retention graph and identify key moments in their video viewership.
The Likeable study suggests, unsurprisingly, that Facebook's tweaking of its News Feed algorithm has only continued to reward video — an area where the platform was already ramping up its efforts considerably, including through its Watch tab for premium video content that competes with YouTube and Netflix. Findings about live broadcasts performing well are interesting, as Facebook's focus on its streaming service appeared to wane amid a pivot toward professionally produced and scripted video content. Marketers should also take note of the positive response to newer content types like memes, which are cropping up more frequently in brands' campaigns.
Video is a category where brands are pouring more investment, with digital video ad sales expected to increase 23% in 2018, according to Magna forecasts. The IAB also estimates that 59% of marketers' overall digital advertising budgets now go toward digital video.
While some marketers speculated that issues impacting Facebook, including algorithm changes and its data privacy scandal with the now-shuttered Cambridge Analytica, would hamper the platform's business, this hasn't been the case so far. During its earnings report late last month, the company posted $11.8 billion in advertising revenue for Q1 2018, a 50% increase over the same period last year.