Spitfire Strategies

On the Digital Drift: Video

Kerry Leslie

By Kerry Leslie

The digital media space is constantly churning with changes and savvy online communicators are the ones who can keep up with the digital and social media trends. We know you’re busy, so we’re doing our part to keep you up to date by digging into these trends for you… and delivering them to you every few months right here and in your inbox.

Each day, people watch about 23,000 years’ worth of video on YouTube. That’s how long ago scientists believe humans started cultivating farms. Facebook users watch nearly 1,200 years’ worth. That’s about as far back as the dawn of the Viking Age. Periscope? A “measly” 110 years. About the age of Ford’s first Model T. I watched three videos before getting into work this morning. I’m sure I am not alone.

Online video is here to stay and social media is taking it seriously. Chances are, your organization has already dabbled in the art or you’re noodling the best way to dive in. After thinking through your strategy for “Reel Impact,” keep these trends in mind on the best way to disseminate your works of art.

Take the time to upload your video directly.man holding phone

For a lot of us, YouTube is our default video hub. But if you’re sharing your video on social media, it’s worth the time to upload it directly to the platform you’re working on. Facebook and Twitter both appear to optimize their native videos over those shared through YouTube links.

  • On Facebook, native videos reach about twice as many users and yield at least that much more engagement – likes, shares and comments.
  • Twitter native videos, while limited to 30 seconds, auto-expand in tweets whereas YouTube videos are condensed to links. Recent research reveals that native videos also produce two to three times more engagement.

Viewers like it live.

While a skillfully crafted and edited video production can be a powerful tool to move audiences, the growing popularity of live video suggests there’s real value in connecting with your supporters candidly and in-the-moment, even if it’s online and not in person.

  • Periscope live videos will now autoplay (without sound) in the Twitter feed for all mobile audiences – much like videos on Facebook – instead of appearing as links within tweets. And just this month, Periscope started testing a feature that lets users “doodle” on their live broadcasts.
  • Facebook recently launched its own live-streaming tool, Facebook Live, and officially said it would give a News Feed visibility boost to Live videos.
  • Snapchat is also embracing its users’ love of live footage, and asking them to participate in Live Stories – curations of photos and videos from events and locations around the world. And if the Oscars’ Live Story is any indication, audiences may not even have to be inside the Snapchat app to indulge.

Competition means changes.

As social media platforms race to stay ahead of the video curve and each other, one thing we are sure of is that we’ll see a lot of changes in this space over the coming months.

  • Facebook is replacing its Messenger tab on its mobile apps with a Video tab that sends users to a YouTube-like hub where they can search for live and recorded videos. Along with the tab change, Facebook is rolling out a number of other Live upgrades, from color filters to audience metrics.
  • Google also announced it is launching a new app, YouTube Connect, that lets audiences create live videos and stream them on their mobile devices or online.

It’s a fact – online video is trending and shows no signs of slowing down. As you consider what role video will play in your organization’s social change goals, we’ll help make sure you know all your options.


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