Facebook takes on YouTube
15.10.2015 488 views
Facebook tests a dedicated video channel on its platform, which could compete with YouTube for consumers’ time and marketers’ ad dollars.
Facebook Inc. has set its sights on YouTube, hoping to become the place where people watch videos and, more importantly, where marketers spend their ad dollars.
The social network is testing a dedicated video section of its site and app featuring a mix of videos that users have saved for later, videos from friends, pages they follow and other video publishers on Facebook.
A small number of users will be able to access the video section by tapping a “videos” icon on the bottom of the Facebook app on the iPhone and in the “favorites” section on the left side of the news feed on the social network’s website. Facebook is planning to test the service on Android devices in coming months and says the test aims to examine how consumers use the section to “discover, watch and share videos with their friends.”
The move comes at a time when videos are becoming a more important part of Facebook’s platform. The social network is where a significant portion of its user base who watch videos online consume that content. A recent report by U.K.-based consultancy Ampere Analysis found that roughly one-sixth of Facebook video viewers in May did not watch videos on YouTube in the previous month. Given Facebook’s massive scale—it has 1.49 billion active users—it offers marketers a chance to reach consumers who might not see their video ads on YouTube.
In addition to the video section test, Facebook is testing a number of features that give consumers more ways to watch videos on its platform and marketers more ways to attract consumers to their video ads. For example, it is testing a “suggested videos” feature on iPhones in which it presents other videos a consumer might want to watch after he taps a video in his news feed.
Facebook says initial results have shown that users presented with suggested videos watch more videos than other users. As a result, the social network is rolling out suggested videos to most users on iPhones around the world, while starting to test how users react when video ads are presented as a suggested video.
Another test Facebook is running lets consumers watch a video in a floating screen while navigating Facebook. And it is also testing a button that that allows users to save a video to watch later.
The moves should help Facebook attract more ad dollars, says Erna Alfred Liousas, a Forrester Research Inc. analyst who covers social media. “Facebook is doing its best to keep users coming back for more and that holds appeal for brands advertising on the network,” she says.
Source: Internet Retailer
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