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The Future Of Video On Social Media

31st May 2019 by CH

Read time: 4 mins

Social is one of the most effective places to share video content online. The variety of formats available across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and more, make it the ideal place to push out video, whatever it looks like.

But given the nature of its ever-changing, ever-developing paradigm, things never stay the same for long.

So how could video on social change and develop in the future? We’ve picked out a few things to keep an eye on.


Have you noticed a lack of posts on your main feed lately but seen more stories? Storytelling capabilities and ephemeral content are becoming one of the most popular ways to share.

You could argue that Snapchat introduced this feature back in 2013 and it was pivotal to their success, but it feels slightly underused on Facebook today, probably because of the older demographic who generally prefer to communicate differently on social. It is however very important on Instagram and will continue to gain traction as it’s likely to surpass the main news feed as the primary way people will post.

Anything that disappears after 24 hours (with the option to highlight and save) feels less serious and much more throwaway than a standard post, so it opens up the type of content you can throw out there.

For brands, stories are a chance to showcase bitesize content that keeps followers in the loop about news, sales, promos, developments, or simple brand awareness and engagement.

Stories also offer a way to build a narrative by uploading 15 second story frames/clips that keep people watching. Less is more though, as seven is the ideal number of frames/clips in a story. You can also use up to 10 hashtags on stories but it’s best to use two or three key ones.

Vertical video is optimised for mobile, provides more ‘real estate’ and a better viewing experience, so we expect to see more of it in the future. Brands and businesses that work out the best way of reaching consumers with stories stand to benefit.

Live Videos

This isn’t a new trend but it’s definitely not going away and is a great way to authentically engage with an audience. Whether it’s across YouTube, Facebook or Instagram, live videos are becoming really common especially when coupled with special events, big announcements or Q&A sessions.

The tricky part is…it’s live. So to make the best of this, the prep work needs to be done in advance so there’s a predefined plan, and the shoot location needs to look the part.

Long-Form Video

Whilst short, sharp and sweet usually works wonders, platforms like IGTV (Instagram’s alternative to YouTube) encourage longer-form content, which means that you’re no longer restricted to the traditional 15-30 seconds spots. It’s been slow on the uptake but this could change going forwards.

Video Ads

Video ads (will probably still annoy you!) but remain popular in the future as they give competitive advantage. Insights and analytics are also becoming more user friendly, so more people will use this to tailor their content and experiment with different ad formats so it’s more effective.

If you put money behind advertising on social, short videos that show the most important info in the first five seconds are vital to make the most of advertising spend.

Alongside this, you can’t ignore the momentum with influencer marketing over the past few years. It’s become commonplace for video and can take on many forms, from vlogs, celeb messages, to movie reviews and makeup tutorials. Who knows what all this will look like in ten years’ time. Our question is how this type of content will be shared and regulated in the future.

Wider Video Opportunities

The people behind the big social media companies are just like any other business team. They want to reach people, move with the times and provide a better offering. And they know how big of a deal video is. So those that aren’t as hot on video historically are now looking to make up the gap.

Take Facebook for example. Last year they launched Facebook Watch in the UK after initial success in the US. This video-on-demand service offers personalised video recommendations to users, and is an example of a strong social media/video crossover.

Facebook Watch is just one example of a social media giant turning to video for their next move. As competition builds and the big players want to move ahead, expect more video investment.

Want to read more? Check out our advice and tips on where video can be used within your business and how best to present information through video.

Changing Horizons

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