5 Things to Know About Facebook’s Video Platform

by Lindsay Valdez

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facebook video is on the rise, here’s what you need to know

There are now more than 720 million people monthly and 140m people daily who spend at least one minute in Facebook Watch. On average, these 140m daily visitors spend more than 26 minutes watching videos in Watch every day. Not bad for a service launched less than 2 years ago.

With over 2 billion monthly users, Facebook is one of the most recognized brands in the world today. Known primarily as a social sharing platform, users commonly post status updates and photos from their daily lives. What is lesser known about Facebook is their video capabilities. Sure, users know they can upload their videos to their feed but there is a whole suite of video offerings available from Facebook that users are much less familiar with. As we kick off BlogHer Creators Summit 2019, one panel I’m super excited about is our BlogHer U session, The Rise of Video on Facebook. In preparation for the event, I dug into the details of Facebook’s video capabilities. Here are five things I didn’t know about Facebook video before but am very excited for now!!

what is facebook watch?

Facebook Watch is Facebook’s premium content destination hub feed where users can find a wide variety of content from Publishers and Creators as well as original programming. To give you an idea of how it works, I would most closely compare it to YouTube. Watch is a specific landing page feed experience you visit to watch videos. On mobile, the button to get to Watch is at the bottom on the screen, a triangle play icon appears on the button. Once you land on the Watch feed, there is a mix of videos that appear from both my Facebook Friends as well as from brand pages that I follow. The user experience is smooth and, in my opinion, more user friendly than YouTube. You can easily engage in discussions with others. You can also search for videos via the search bar within, similar to how you can on YouTube. Think of Facebook Watch as their hub for users who want to consume video content vs. scrolling through your standard newsfeed. Users don’t necessarily create content for Facebook Watch per se, but based on their engagement, their video may be displayed there.

Watch is globally available for free (only requirement is to have a FB account) on mobile apps across Apple and Android, on desktop, laptop and on TV apps listed here: https://videoapp.fb.com/

Another term I wasn’t familiar with prior to researching Facebook Watch was “Creators”. Per Facebook, a Facebook creator is a person or publisher who creates original, engaging content on Facebook for the purpose of growing a community and building a business.

But Facebook Watch is only one part of Facebook’s video initiative.

how can a blogger or influencer benefit from fb video?

Creators build some of the strongest communities on Facebook. As Watch continues to grow, many creators are developing loyal followings in Watch with highly engaged fans who are seeking out their content and coming back for more. Creators can now interact with their audience in much deeper ways through Groups, Fan Badges, Stories and a tighter integration with Instagram. This helps grow their audience and their brand.

They want creators have multiple ways to build the business that best suits their content and their audience. Money is another benefit someone can get from Facebook video. They provide products to make money through ads, subscriptions, branded content & merchandise (for gaming creators).

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getting into that a bit further, How can you make $$ from the platform?

The main way for creators to make money from Facebook video are through ad breaks. Ad breaks are short ads that you can include in your eligible videos. You can place the ads however you like but by default they will appear at natural breaks in your content. There are some qualifications you must meet in order to utilize ad breaks, such as your page must have at least 10,000 followers. You also have to have a history of videos that receive views, 30,000 over the last 60 days to be exact. Pages using ad breaks have increased by more than 3x in just the last year. And of these ad breaks, more than 70% of mid-roll ads are viewed to completion on Facebook.

Another way to make money is through branded content. Facebook’s branded content enables brands to reach audiences through the authentic voice of creators and publishers. Facebook is completely transparent about the sponsored component. They ensure that people understand the nature of the relationship behind the content in their feed and for brands and content creators to easily and accurately share partnerships on Facebook. This provides an important revenue source for creators and publishers building their businesses on Facebook.

how does facebook video help grow your audience?

We all know that video increases audience engagement! Creators can grow their FB audience through utilizing their live stream video capabilities as well as recorded video. There are millions of Live broadcasts daily. Hosting live videos will help your audience see the real you and turn your casual readers into loyalists. Get creative by hosting Q & As, conducting interviews and even organizing events.

What’s unique about it compared to other video services?

One thing that stood out to me was how many opportunities you have to connect with other users. It was so interactive! From comments and reactions to group recommendations based on the videos you watch, it’s easy to engage with others. I was surprised how smooth the feed interface on mobile was, especially considering how confusing videos work on Facebook in the normal news feed.

I found it to be a very personalized experience organized by what I’m watching and also what my friends are watching. The main feed landing page weaves videos from the pages you’ve Liked and videos your Facebook Friends have posted. Across the top of the feed, running horizontal, are different categories of videos. Shows, Animals, Food, News, Sports are some examples. Within the Beauty category, there was another horizontal carousal that featured Creators. Creators appeared to just be users who frequently posted videos, many with good sized followings.

** any data listed in this article is from Facebook.com

BlogHer Creators Summit starts tomorrow and it's not too late for you to join us! Facebook's Violet Lim talks to Creators Laura Clery and Amanda Rettke about how they grow passionate communities, engage with their audiences, and monetize their videos on Facebook. This panel will take place at 11:30am on the main stage on Thursday, September 19 in Brooklyn, NY.

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Lindsay ValdezSEO, BlogHer UComment