animation capabilities now spanning to pinterest & news for facebook video

You’ve read our other articles discussing social media platforms and there initiation of video services here and here. Now, image-sharing site Pinterest is looking for a bit of video action with its new promoted pin… that is animated. Pinterest’s updates and added services have been coming thick and fast over the past few years. As of January 2014, Pinterest sells ads on their network, titled ‘Promoted Pins’. The purpose of this was because Pinterest was more than just an image-sharing site and ‘vision board’ for users. The move towards marketing for Pinterest came about as the social bulletin board realised users were actually signing up to the site with the intent to purchase a particular product to suit their needs, whether that is clothing, furniture, or home wares. Now, with Promoted Pins and its ‘rich pins’ feature (enabling brands to include data such as pricing, stock availability, and a link to the product, as well as soon to be released ‘Buy It’ button, meaning you don’t even have to leave the site to purchase the product almost instantaneously), Pinterest is making itself into an extremely retail friendly environment. So, you may be asking – how does this relate to video and animated videos? Well, one of Pinterest’s newest features is its Cinematic Pins. In an effort to engage more and more users, who, according to Pinterest’s GM of Monetization, Tim Kendall, are “delighted by this experience”, Cinematic Pins are videos seen in motion as the user scrolls, but motion ends when the scrolling stops. “Users want to feel like they’re in control, and we’ve done a bunch of user testing… they love controlling the motion”, shared Kendall. A number of brands are already making use of the feature including Target, Nestlé, and L’Oreal. Brands see Pinterest as a great tool to tell a story, and the Cinematic Pins only enhances this opportunity. The creative aspect of these Cinematic Pins should be thought out into a story, rather than brands simply jumping onto the tool without much thought.

what’s changed on facebook?

The other platform that has seen surges in growth in terms of video is Facebook. Recent statistics have indicated Facebook sees over four billion daily views on their video assets. Hardly surprising given it feels as though every second post in our newsfeeds is a video of cats falling off things and babies laughing. This number continues to grow.

1. silent auto-play

You may have noticed changes in the way videos are played in your own feed. Some like it, some certainly don’t. Now, you do not even have the option to not view a video in your feed thanks to the recently released silent auto-play. Basically, if you scroll over a video and let it sit on your screen for just 3-seconds, it will start playing without sound. Simply turn on the sound if you want to listen. This, despite what people may think, actually presents a new challenge to video marketers. Why? Distractions are everywhere and there is no added benefit of audio. If the viewer doesn’t like what they are seeing in the first second, they’re done, they won’t even bother clicking on volume. Captivating your audience is more difficult than ever, and needs to be done instantaneously. Short and sweet is the name of the game when it comes to Facebook video content. Users aren’t going to spend more than 1 minute looking at a video on their Facebook news feed.

2. the world’s largest social network… with expanded video offerings

YouTube should be worried, and thus Google should be worried. Yes, YouTube is at the moment the second largest search engine, but with Facebook being the largest social networking site, and with its video offerings expanding, its likely Facebook will start stealing traffic away from the site.

3. mobile leads the way

Over half a billion of Facebook’s 2.2 billion users browse the platform exclusively on a mobile device. Have you ever spent your time on public transport or waiting alone for a friend on YouTube? Its certainly rare, more likely, you will browse your social networks (probably Facebook) whilst passing the time. Create compelling, humorous, and shareable video content, and users will respond by spending their downtime consuming it.

4. easily embedding, not just limited to youtube

Now, with the ability to embed Facebook videos onto any other blog or website platform using a simple embed code, you will easily be able to share the huge amount of other people’s videos you see on your Facebook feed with your network.

what should you do?

It may be time to stop thinking of Facebook videos purely as animal clips created by amateurs with the only aim is to go viral, and start seeing them as another platform for marketing your video content. How do you go about doing this? Hiring a professional video production company will help both in the creative and the final production side of things. Similarly, in creating content that is engaging and unique in order to promote shares and even obtain more customers, you will need to think outside the box. Adding a competition into your video campaign on Facebook will be beneficial, similarly think about the usefulness of user-generated or fan-generated content and what this could do for your brand value. It seems that everyday there are more and more platforms vying for marketer’s time. In fact, we are bombarded with opportunities, and information on the next ‘big thing’ to utilise as apart of our marketing repertoire, how do we know what to use and what to filter out? Facebook seems committed to providing benefits to its customers across so much more than just a social networking platform. Far from just another place to host content, Facebook is offering multiple new opportunities for marketers (and not just in the video sense). Yes, there are so many platforms doing this, however, Facebook has proved itself as an engaging and well-received site. If not in the next few months on your marketing calendar, at least make sure Facebook video is on your radar.

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