Facebook's drive to make video content an integral part of everyone's New Feeds is paying off handsomely as the site has just announced that since June 2014, users of the social network have watched an average of 1 billion videos per day. Video views have increased by an incredible 50% between May and July of this year, and around two-thirds of daily views are made via mobile devices.
The last year has seen a number of robust improvements to video content distribution on Facebook, including the introduction of auto-play video, and a tweak of the algorithm that returns more relevant results based on the user's past preference for videos they like to watch.
New Facebook Video Features: View Counts & Related Videos
Now a very serious contender to YouTube, Facebook is bumping up its video analytics offering to brands and marketers by providing data on how many views a video views a video has received on Facebook. These view counts will be public facing so viewers can see for themselves how popular a video is on the site. This feature is due to go live within the next few days.
Facebook will also offer a related videos feature to viewers, based on the content they just watched. The feature is currently in beta on mobile devices but could be rolled out very soon.
Facebook Users are Watching 1 Billion Videos Per Day, 65% Via Their Mobile Devices (Click to Tweet)
View Counts Requested by Facebook's Media Partners
Variety is reporting that the new view count feature is being introduced after requests by some of Facebook's biggest media partners, such as Parkwood Entertainment, the company owned by Beyonce. The brand wanted to track the video views of the “50 Shades of Grey” trailer which features a slow-downed remixed version of the singer's mega-hit “Crazy in Love” (YouTube version below).
The video was posted to Facebook and YouTube on Friday 5th September. Within just 4 hours of being published, Facebook users watched the video 2.4 million times. The YouTube clip attracted just a few thousand views during the same time frame. Why the discrepancy? The singer has 6.5 million Facebook fans, and a staggering amount of those fans would have been introduced to the clip via their News Feeds. YouTubers who wanted to share the clip would have had to use a two-step process to show their networks the new content. Facebook made it easy for the trailer to be shared, reaching fans of both the singer, and the upcoming movie, in their tens of millions.
YouTube, of course, has been providing these stats for years and although it's not the best metric to track, views are a very easy way to gauge the popularity of a video. Combining view counts with numbers for likes and comments should encourage more engagement from Facebook users who will spring into action to agree or disagree with the general consensus.