Facebook takes on YouTube by launching new video section

Steven Loeb · October 13, 2015 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/40a9

The number of people creating, and watching, video on Facebook has spiked over the last year

When we look back, I believe that 2015 will be the year where we say that Facebook started to really care about video, andf the year it started becoming a content creation hub, one that could seriously challenge YouTube.

So, in order to drive up its video numbers even further, Facebook announced on Tuesday that it is going to give creators, and viewers, a dedicated feed where they can exclusively watch video, much like it did with shopping earlier this week.

The feed will include videos that have been saved for later, as well as videos from friends, Pages that users follow, and other video publishers on Facebook. The new videos section can be accessed by tapping a “Videos” icon at the bottom of the Facebook app on iPhone or in the “Favorites” section on the left-hand side of News Feed on the web.

The company says it will be testing this with a "small number of people now, so this isn’t something most people will see on Facebook right away." So right now Facebook is testing how people use it to discover, watch and share video, before, hopefully, eventually rolling it out to the rest of us.

That is far from the only thing Facebook is testing out with video right now. It is also working on suggested videos, which means giving users the option to select other, similar videos after they have watched one (pretty much what it does now with articles).

Suggested videos have been rolled out to to most people on iPhone globally, and now the company is starting to test ads, as well as giving the same option on the Web, as well as Android phones in the coming months.

Another interesting test is allowing people to do other things on Facebook while they watch video, giving people to option to watch a video in a "floating screen while simultaneously multitasking on Facebook." That actually sounds pretty annoying to me, kind of like a pop-up ad, but maybe someone will enjoy doing that.

Finally, Facebook said it has also been testing a button that allows users to save a video to watch later, which can be accessed in their “Saved” bookmark.

Facebook has been seeing huge increases in its video statistics over the last year or so.

In January the company revealed that, in one year, the number of video posts per person had increased 75% globally. That number is even higher, 94%, in the United States. That has amounted to the number of videos, from both users and from advertisers, increased 3.6 times in that span.

Facebook has over 1.2 billion users, and now more than half of them watch at least one video day. Even more impressive is that 76% of Facebook users in the U.S. say they tend to discover the videos they watch on Facebook.

As of this summer Facebook was serving four billion video views every single day, a number that had quadrupled in less than a year.

Video has become so important, in fact, that Facebook is reportedly considering dedicating an app only to 360-degree or “spherical” videos, where the user can view them from a variety of angles, all by simply tilting their phone.

(Image source: newsroom.fb.com)

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