Facebook stated that video views grew >50% between May and July of this year and now exceed one billion views per day , with 65% viewed on mobile (YouTube is likely near 7bn/day and growing ~20% y/y). This follows comments by the company in late June that video views had doubled in the past six months and that it had updated its algorithm to deliver more video to people who have demonstrated interest in viewing such content (the algorithm takes into account how often a user views recommended videos and for how long a user viewed a video – i.e., completion rate).
In late June, the company announced that it would change how it ranks videos in the News Feed to incorporate whether someone has watched a video and for what duration, in order to show more videos to users that tend to consume them. The company has also recently added other new features, introducing new analytics for publishers, new call-to-action functionality, and the expansion of premium video ads into seven more countries.
Metrics of Facebook bandwidth usage, based on data consumption, remained robust with q/q sequential growth of >20% and an acceleration in the 1H of the year – which coincides with the video launch. In fact, in some regions the gains were quite meaningful (e.g., FB surpassed YouTube in LatAm in downstream data traffic). Given that Facebook began to more aggressively roll out video (including video ads) at the end of last year (with testing of video ads in the U.S. since December 2013 and an international rollout starting in May 2014), this data supports the theory that the broader support for videos on Facebook has had a meaningful and positive impact on consumption on Facebook.
ALS IceBucket Viral Video Metrics
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video series went viral in Jul/Aug with ~30mn FB users posting, commenting or liking ALS videos and we suspect many FB users posted or interacted with a video on FB for the first time as a result. Our view on the ALS bucket challenge event is that while its immediate financial impact on Facebook might be minimal
it does highlight the power of social networks in raising awareness – whether it be for brands and marketers or altruistic endeavors such as ALS.
LiveRail Integration with Facebook
Last month Facebook closed the acquisition of LiveRail, which should help expand Facebook’s reach with video advertisers as well as its burgeoning (video) publisher network. LiveRail has won several awards and been named a leading provider of digital monetization technology for video publishers.
We feel it’s hard to ignore the datapoints about video usage on Facebook over the past few weeks, and anecdotally we’ve also noticed more video.