Facebook turns up volume on video
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- Fevereiro 14º, 2017
Move over YouTube? A slew of Facebook video updates announced Tuesday suggest that the social network is gunning to be the top destination for digital video.
For starters, Facebook formally revealed its plans to launch a dedicated Facebook Video app for TV sets, meaning the company’s 1.86 billion users can soon stream its videos through set-top boxes and sticks such as Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV.
In addition, the company announced that, on the social network, video will automatically play with sound on if a person’s device is not in silent mode. Though people can disable sound in settings, the default change, rolling out slowly to all, amounts to a fundamental shift in the way Facebook presents video.
Also new is the ability to minimize videos while browsing. That means users can get the equivalent of a picture-in-picture experience, watching videos while simultaneously scrolling through friends’ updates on Facebook.
The video-first maneuvers are to be expected, considering Facebook’s publicly stated approbation of the format.
“I’ve said before that I see video as a mega-trend on the same order as mobile,” Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg told investors and analysts during the firm’s earnings conference call on Feb. 1. “That’s why we’re going to keep putting video first across our family of apps and making it easier for people to capture and share video in new ways.”
This year, nearly 222 million people in the U.S. are projected to watch streaming or downloaded video every month, according to digital analytics firm eMarketer. The audience is anticipated to grow to 239 million viewers by 2021.
Facebook’s standalone TV app is the company’s most ambitious attempt yet to increase overall video consumption, and create space for additional advertising revenue. The app, which the company said will roll out soon, will feature saved videos, videos from friends and Pages, recommended videos and even popular videos being broadcast live.
The streaming app seems to be geared around younger viewers’ changing attitudes toward television content. It is also a direct assault against YouTube, which is the most-loved brand among kids ages 6 to 12, according to market research firm Smarty Pants. However, Facebook is also making the assumption that people want to view its videos on larger screens, whereas trends in digital viewing suggest a preference to view on hand-held devices.
Adults in the U.S. spend, on average, an hour and seven minutes per day consuming digital video, according to eMarketer. But just 14 minutes of that time span represents time spent viewing on a streaming-enabled device other than a phone, tablet or personal computer.
Facebook has been promoting video heavily since 2014, when it first rolled out its auto-play feature. The company has also made a number of tweaks to the formula behind its News Feed to boost video posts over photo and text posts.
Most recently, Facebook said that people can expect to see more longer form videos, as opposed to shorter clips, in their feeds.
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