By Squeegee Scott – Native & Social Account Manager and Strategist at King Content
When Chromecast first came out, it revolutionised how I viewed video at home. No more plugging and unplugging HDMI cables, no more searching for that damn laptop charger. It was simple, easy and, most importantly, made it possible for my mates to add random clips to my YouTube queue whenever there was opportunity for a ’90s pop sing-along (which was totally unplanned and impromptu, of course).
So you’ll understand my [barely contained] excitement when Facebook started rolling out video streaming via Chromecast. No more passing my phone around to a circle of nine people just to show a funny six-second clip (which, admittedly, isn’t funny after the 4th loop). Gone are the days of tagging each other on videos when we’re sitting two seats away.
Like most digital marketers, I’d heard rumblings that Facebook was looking to move into the broadcast space, first through the introduction of Facebook Live, then the testing of mid-stream ads. But once I got that first Facebook clip streaming on my TV, my social marketing brain went into overdrive. So, as you’re probably wondering, what does it mean for your brand and marketing?
Plenty, it seems.
Out with the new
When Facebook’s algorithm prioritised video in our newsfeeds, it changed how marketers and brands created content. Clicking to play, talking heads and even (much to the dismay of some) the traditional landscape video format were replaced by hardcoded subtitles, stock music and highly conceptual (though mostly B-roll) visuals. I predict that the widespread adoption of FB streaming will bring back some of these things but at the very least, Facebook has forced us to think outside the square.
The streaming of Facebook Live videos will also dramatically change how we package content. Why fight for advertising slots on TV when you can create video specifically for a target audience and get real-time responses to things like sentiment, engagement, viewership and length. This creates huge opportunities for performers and show producers alike (FB Live with Seinfeld, anyone?).
If you can’t beat ’em
This latest move isn’t just a clever way for Facebook to muscle in on Netflix/Apple TV’s screen time but its streaming capabilities can shape at-home viewing habits. Honestly, how much more time could Facebook demand of us considering we’re already feeling guilty of being on our mobiles 24/7.
It’s a new platform, new experience and eventually, an entire suite of Facebook-exclusive content. Could we be viewing the 2020 Olympics as it’s broadcast live via Facebook video streaming?
No matter what the future holds for social streaming, I’m fully on board with social’s metamorphosis to become a more ‘social IRL’ experience.