There have been some rather poor performances in the third quarter of 2015 for video players but for social media behemoth Facebook, the sector has never been stronger.
Not only did it rack up a billion logins in a single day, but the quarter also saw unprecedented growth in the video arena with 8 billion video views daily and more than 500 million users watching video through the social media platform. Moreover the three-month period saw Facebook pull away from Twitter in video. Recent research from analyst TDG into who’s leading social TV has given Facebook the big thumbs up over its social media arch-rival, overtaking Twitter as the chosen medium for social TV activity.
Commenting on the quarter’s video activities, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said: “Over the next few years, video is going to be some of the most engaging content online, and by continuing to innovate here, we have a chance to build the best place to watch and share videos.”
And in the round this could be hugely significant. Another recent research paper from Strategy Analytics found that social TV behaviours have continued to evolve over the years, shifting from consumers passively consuming TV to socially consuming TV as more and more social media becomes accessible via different devices and sources. it added that social TV concepts such as social channels and RelayTV have the potential to change the way in which consumers interact with social media in relation to what they watch on TV, bringing social TV to the TV itself, rather than designate such behaviours to the personal device.
Yet the analyst also revealed that while use of social media when watching TV was high, use in relation to what is on the TV was low. Surveying consumers in the US and UK, Strategy Analytics found that while social TV concepts were appealing to some, others found them to be distracting and intrusive to their TV experience. Similar to consumer frustration with embedded TV apps for the smart TV, participants found social TV concepts more suitable for a personal device and the individual, rather than for a collective viewing experience.
“Many consumers are still using offline communication by text messaging friends/family about what they are watching on TV as it offers a more private and personal means of conversing about a TV show/event,” said Strategy Analytics senior analyst and report author Taryn Tulay. “However, using social media to see what others are posting about a TV show is the top most frequent social TV behaviour performed by survey respondents in all regions. This is typically done in order to see other viewers’ reactions to the show or to clarify something that is confusing; providing extra insight or a different view on what happened in the show/event.”
Concluding, Strategy Analytics advised that social TV concepts do have the potential to change the way in which consumers interact with social media in relation to what they watch on TV, but must incorporate certain features: be easy to use and navigate on the bigger screen, provide an individual and a collective TV experience, be customisable, and offer new capabilities and features that are unavailable on the personal device.
Analysing the Facebook results and weighing up the commercial prospects for social TV in general, Justin Taylor, UK MD of outstream video advertising and global monetisation platform provider Teads, said: “It is no wonder that Facebook wants to secure a significant slice of this ever expanding pie. Yet for brands and advertisers who have carefully honed their creative, the social network is still unable to provide a premium advertising environment but relies on user-generated content. Brands don’t just want their creative seen by a lot of people, but by the right people in the right context. The introduction of outstream video ad formats is opening up vast swathes of new premium inventory on these sites to fulfil demand and they will continue to be a popular choice for brands seeking both scale and safety.”