Social media video goes to the next level — scripted programming
Tuesday, September 05, 2017
A couple of years ago, dazzling images were all your brand needed to shine on social media. Recently, though, video has taken the reins.
Facebook users watch, on average, 100 million hours of videos each day. And that data is from late 2015, so it's presumably is even higher now.
On nearly every social platform, all the new, most successful features center on video. Think about the two biggest home runs of the last year: Facebook Live and Instagram Stories.
With an engaged, built-in audience already there, social media networks see the potential and want to capitalize. Now, Facebook and Snapchat are launching original scripted videos, essentially becoming bona fide television networks overnight.
Facebook's Watch is "a platform for all creators and publishers to find an audience, build a community a community of passionate fans, and earn money for their work." Viewers can scroll through comments in real time, chat with friends watching or connect with fellow fans.
Facebook has already launched with tons and tons of content. Some shows are from their partners, while others are funded by Facebook. Now, Show Pages can create and add videos.
Though, Facebook is not the first to dip into this realm. Last September, Twitter launched a Twitter app for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Xbox One, where people could live stream content. Just in the first quarter of 2017, Twitter broadcasted more than 800 hours of live stream content from more than 400 events. However, the company did recently lose its NFL streaming deal, and so far, hasn't gained many new users or advertisers because of this initiative.
So, will these new endeavors by Facebook and Snapchat also struggle?
Snapchat tried original content back in 2015 when it aired episodes of "Literally Can't Even." These under-five-minute videos aired every Sunday and disappeared after 24 hours. The show itself was horribly reviewed, but the quality was generally praised.
This time around, Snapchat is partnering with the likes of ABC, BBC and NBC to create original content. This will help Snapchat create better content, and the networks can finally reach the always-coveted millennial demographic.
Facebook, too, is following this formula and hoping for success. Many of their new shows are from pages and people with massive followings on Facebook. For example, Humans of New York, which has more than 18 million followers, debuted a series, as did Buzzfeed — a media network with more than 10 million Facebook fans.
By debuting content like this with established media partners, Facebook and Snapchat could very well change how we watch television. Already, you can see the companies have analyzed user data to create shows they already know people will like. As they gain more and more data on their new programming, they'll be able to pinpoint and produce even more successes.
Plus, many companies are already spending the bulk of their ad buys on social and would likely flock to participate here. For advertisers, it could be the best of both worlds in one place: social media and television.
Now, we'll have to wait and see if the viewers agree as well.
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