Can Interactive Video Right Facebook's Ship?

With billions of dollars at stake, Facebook is betting its long-term success on content that consumers find more meaningful and engaging. 

In the short term, that has resulted in sagging consumption rates, slowing revenue growth, and soaring overhead costs.



Yet CEO Mark Zuckerberg insists that Facebook and its billions of users will ultimately be better off. “By focusing on meaningful connections, our community and business will be stronger over the long term,” he promised earlier this year.

Key to Zuckerberg’s grand plan is video that users find worthy of their time and attention.

Enter the seven-person team behind Vidpresso, an interactive video firm that Facebook just agreed to “aqui-hire” for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in 2012, Vidpresso helps publishers and brands soup up their videos with interactive graphics, comments, polls, and the like. As the company notes in a new blog post, the point was always “to make video more like HTML -- easier to author, easier to change, and customized per person.”

Likely boding well for Facebook, Vidpresso's client list is impressive. On the brand side, partners have included BMW, Burger King, and Nasdaq, while publishing partners include NBC News, TED, Fox Sports, Buzzfeed, The Washington Post, MTV, Turner Sports, and Reuters.

Along with the Vidpresso deal, Facebook recently began giving content creators tools to turn their videos into game shows.

Meanwhile, the tech titan reportedly plans to have partnerships in place with upwards of 20 premium publishers before the end of the year. So far, partners include CNN, Bloomberg, Fox News, and Univision.

If it seems like Facebook is borrowing heavily from YouTube’s playbook, that’s no accident.

Unlike the social giant, Google’s video hub is having a great year, according to recent analysis analysis of Nielsen data by Pivotal Research.

The bigger question, of course, is how long it will take Facebook's existential shift to start making financial sense.

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