A New Way to View Videos on Facebook

In what’s probably exciting news for marketers (and so-so news to the commonplace user), Facebook has this month been playing with new ways to share videos in a person’s News Feed — and that includes video advertisements.

Announced mid-December, Facebook’s new video viewing strategy involves allowing viewers to preview content without needing to click on anything (or load the entire video to just catch a glimpse of what it’s about).

You know how videos tend to use a screenshot as their “cover art,” often a random picture that barely gives a sense of what the video will be about or its quality? And that image, along with the video’s title and perhaps a brief tag line, was the only way to attract a click? Well why not use moving art to speak for the product instead? It is, after all, video, and should thus break free of the frozen, flat allure of a still photo. That’s so 2012.

So how it works now, in theory, is that when a person is scrolling down through their News Feed, they’ll come across a video ad — and as soon as it appears on the screen, it will begin to play. The video will only play for a few seconds, and plays silently (which is especially important if you just want to browse Facebook on-the-go without silencing your app every time). This way, developers say, the audience will be more intrigued and somewhat invested. Then they can go ahead and click the video per usual to watch it play fully (and with sound).

Presently, this new strategy is still in a trial mode. However, Facebook claims that video playback and user interaction with video has increased 10% since the social media company began tinkering with new video engagement in the News Feed back in September.

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