“If I was having a bet, it’d be video, video, video”. That, according to Facebook vice president Nicola Mendelsohn, is the future direction of the company, and perhaps a representation of social media as a whole. Over the past year Facebook claims that the number of video posts per person has increased 75% globally. However, you didn’t need my measly statistic to tell you that…like myself, you may regularly drool over the latest BuzzFeed videos (probably involving a lot of melted cheese or Nutella in some form).
You may also have noticed the recent ‘Facebook Live’ feature, which allows live streaming from your mobile to the social world. This push into the realm of live broadcasting opens endless opportunities for brands, and is being experimented with by businesses and celebrities alike. According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook is paying around $50 million worth of contacts to 140 personalities, including Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, who ‘went live’ from the red carpet. You may ask, why pay so much money to have celebrates crap on about their day-to-day lives? The answer is advertising. With many social networks already reaching maturity, business models are focusing on $$$. The more viewers on a social platform, the more that platform can charge advertisers for space on their channel. On a more local scale, Australian property publisher ‘Domain’ went live from an auction on Saturday, which is an example of where video is being used to generate brand awareness and involvement with the audience.
Facebook surprisingly is not dominating the live streaming market, with YouTube attracting huge audiences through live sport, including 1.8 million when streaming a European soccer match in May. Micro-blogging service ‘Twitter’ is also adapting rather than dying, announcing their intention to focus on video, and not surprisingly, going ‘live’. So is this Goodbye to text and hello to video for good? As consumers of digital media we are easily entertained, but just as easily bored. What is brilliant one day is ancient the next, so what comes after live video?