Without addressing reports of a forthcoming YouTube-like video hub, Facebook is opening up about the transformative effect video is having on its platform.
“We’re increasingly seeing a shift towards visual content on Facebook,” the social giant admits in a new blog post.
Indeed, the amount of video shared by users and brands has increased more than 300%, over the past year, while the number of video posts per U.S. consumer has increased nearly 100%, according to fresh internal figures.
As Facebook recently reports, its network, since last summer, has averaged more than 1 billion video views per day. More than 50% of U.S. users who come back to Facebook daily watch at least one video per day, on average, while 76% of U.S. users who use Facebook say they tend to discover the videos they watch on Facebook.
Positioning itself more as a video hub on par with YouTube, Facebook recently rolled out a new design for the Video section of Facebook Pages.
Page owners — from brands to news outlets — will soon be invited to top off their pages with featured videos. The super-sized videos will be accompanied by a live comment feed, and a playlist of additional videos.
Eying an even bigger share of the video pie, Facebook is reportedly developing a dedicated video platform to compete directly with Google’s YouTube unit.
“We are convinced that Facebook will launch a competitor to YouTube and will attract and organize more and more user-generated video content,” Macquarie Securities analyst Ben Schachter predicted in a recent report.
Facebook has every reason to be optimistic about its ongoing video investments. Growth in click-throughs for video ads has outpaced clicks for other types of page posts on the social giant, according to Kinetic Social.
Videos uploaded directly to Facebook now outnumber YouTube videos posted to the site, according to recent data from social analytics firm Socialbakers. Also, as of November, Facebook Pages posting Facebook videos now outnumber Facebook pages posting YouTube videos.
Across channels, video is booming. This holds huge monetization opportunities. Indeed, online video's share of global ad spend will increase from 1.9% in 2014 to 2.8% in 2017, according to ZenithOptimedia's new Advertising Expenditure forecast.
Facebook continues to test new ways to make money off video. Most recently, the social giant began letting advertisers serve auto-play video promotions within its mobile apps as part of their app install ads. Facebook also just struck a video-distribution deal with the National Football League, which includes advertising by Verizon Wireless.