We look at engagement on Facebook native video, and find three themes that videos have in common.
Earlier this week, we looked at the performance of six publishers’ Facebook posts.
We noticed that while links dominate the content form of more publishers’ pages, video achieved high levels of engagement.
Facebook now claim that their users are amassing around four billion video views every day. Since the introduction of auto-playing Facebook native video last year, some publishers have been quick to try out the feature as a means of reaching new viewers (and readers).
In a recent interview on this blog, NowThis’s VP of Social Media, Ashish Patel, explained his site’s decision to serve all their videos natively:
“What we want to do is reduce that amount of friction that there is currently between the consumer and video consumption. We saw that an additional click is a fairly high barrier. Putting video natively into social news feeds helps consumption, paired with the fact that most most users are accessing through social. We just didn’t see the need to maintain a desktop site.”
But it isn’t just a matter of uploading a short clip straight to Facebook and watching the views and shares roll in.
Facebook also gives a platform to football stars, musicians, wrestlers, brands, TV talk shows, Presidents and more. Their fans aren’t as interested in slick viewing experiences as much as the content itself – meaning that publishers who go looking for engagement with their videos on Facebook face stiff competition for eyeballs.
We looked at engagement around 30 days worth of Facebook native video with data from Spike. Here’s some of what we found.
Note: These numbers are based on the Facebook pages that we have in Spike. We’re still building out our Facebook pages map, so these figures aren’t for all the posts on Facebook.
1) Most of the Most Popular Videos are Very Short
Of the ten most liked Facebook videos in our database for the last 30 days, just three were more than two minutes long. Four were 20 seconds or under, and the shortest was just six seconds long.
We also looked at the average length of some of the top 10 most-liked videos from NowThis, who produce many clips specifically for viewing in the Facebook news feed. Just one of their top 10 most-liked videos in the last 30 days was over 60 seconds long. The rest hovered around 45 seconds long, with the shortest of the ten coming in at just 32 seconds.
It’s not a sacred rule (some of the most liked videos that we found were highlights of a few minutes long from the Manchester United page), but it seems that a ‘Vine mindset’ is the easiest way to win over Facebook’s time-poor mobile users.
2) Videos from Celebrity Pages are Most Popular
When we looked at the 100 most liked videos for the last 30 days, we found that just 15 came from publisher brands like Fox News and the Daily Mail. More came from publishers that have decided to completely focus their efforts on native content, such as BuzzFeed’s video page. By far the most consistently engaged videos came from celebrities like Dwayne Johnson and Taylor Swift, who routinely upload short, informal pieces-to-camera to their tens of millions of fans.
A quick look at Spike’s Facebook posts feature, which shows the most engaging posts on the platform, shows that many of the most engaged videos come from celebrities, sports stars and more.
None of the three most engaging Facebook videos of the last month came from traditional media outlets:
3) Videos are the Post Type Most Likely to be Re-Shared
When we looked at the total engagements around all Images, Links and Videos posted, we found that Links were by far the most popular form of post across all pages.
Consequently, Links to external stories had the most total engagements:
However, when we looked at average interactions by post type, the picture changed somewhat.
Videos shot ahead, with a much stronger average share rate than images and links.
To quantify this a little better, we looked at how video engagements fared for BBC News, which posts a varied mix of images, links and video on its page.
Although Facebook video is still in its early days, its already had an impact on how people consume media on their mobiles and through social. It’s still changing approaches from publishers and expectations from consumers. For now, it seems as though cracking the Facebook video code can bring significant rewards.