Video Killed the Textual Star: The Evolution of Video on Social Media
Most social media networks like Facebook and Twitter may have begun as text-based communication platforms, but they have since developed their own live video delivery systems. How has video revolutionized social media and how can businesses use it to advance their products and ideas? Here’s what you need to know.
There is no denying that video has completely revolutionized the ways in which social media networks connect with their users. Video is so successful that Cisco has even claimed that by 2017, it will account for nearly 70% of all consumer internet traffic. In fact, as Nielsen states, 64% of marketers expect video to dominate their strategies in the near future.
Video wasn’t always as big as it is today. In the beginning of Facebook, video was shared mostly in the form of Youtube videos, but was still in the shadows of the channel’s textual content. The big change from a network that revolved mostly around words and photos occurred in 2014 when a whopping 2.4 million unique videos related to the Ice Bucket Challenge had been posted on the social media site.
Since then, Facebook as well as Twitter have transformed from text-based communication platforms to social media platforms that have their own live video delivery systems. In fact, Facebook is so keen on prioritizing the use of video that it even has a content-recommendation algorithm that gives preference to its own video player and determines what content will appear in users’ news feeds.
“Video is the future of content marketing. That is, if it’s not the here and now.”
It is not difficult to see why video is considered the here and now of content marketing. This has to do with two major factors. The first being a technical one. As AdWeek put it, “it took the the mass adoption of camera phones, high speed internet, and mobile data packages to create the perfect storm for the growth of photography as a medium of communication, leading…eventually (to) the current king of the social media photo space, Instagram.”
Once the technology was there, the second factor to affect video was set into motion. This was the release of Instagram and Vine, two major social media networks that are mainly based on video. The two new platforms allowed users to share videos easily with one another and soon set video content at the forefront of every major social network.
Video is possible for small businesses
The change in emphasis from text and images to video was soon on its way with YouTube receiving more than one billion unique visitors every month. Since then, as The Guardian put it, video has become peerless. “It is naturally engaging and, in an age of information overload, it’s vital for small businesses to offer content that is easy to digest; if not, consumers will simply move on. Video does this very well. If a picture paints 1,000 words then one minute of video is worth 1.8 million.”
With 87% of online marketers using video content, there is no doubt that businesses that want to succeed in any type of industry can’t allow themselves to ignore it. According to The Guardian, “Production costs have fallen significantly in recent years and you no longer need to be a technical whiz to work out how to use it.” Platforms like Tel Aviv-based Promo by Slidely allow small businesses to create highly sophisticated and creative videos without breaking the bank.
The platform even enables companies to create a series of videos in order to promote a full campaign rather than just create one video that won’t showcase the product or vision behind the video as a series of several videos would. Since major companies are using campaigns rather than releasing just one video, even small businesses should be able to do so without having to worry about their budget.
These type of videos, like the ones Promo has to offer, supply small businesses with the quality of stunning footage and great music that big brands also use. This is exactly what any video marketing strategy needs in order to earn attention, likes, views, and shares.
What’s next for video on social media?
2016 was most likely the most transformative year in social media. From textual posts, letting followers know what people were up to or where they were, we shifted to showing them what people were doing in real time. In fact, live video is changing both the tone of social media and how we interact with it.
Live streaming applications such as Periscope by Twitter and Facebook Live have embraced the live-streaming functionality on social media. As claimed by Cision, “social is in the moment. It’s a never-ending stream of consciousness. Video allows us to bring people into our world and show them what’s interesting to us.”
It seems video has yet to destroy the textual star and show us what else it can do. Now all we can do is patiently wait for the next social media revolution to occur, and if my predictions are correct, it will most likely involve an even more sophisticated take on the form of video we use today.