In the last couple of weeks, some of the major social platforms have all released data that champions the Micro Moment. Last week, Twitter introduced “Moments.” Tapping on the new lightning bolt tab on your phone opens a list of the best “only-on-Twitter Moments” like conversations between world leaders and celebrities, citizens reporting events as they happen, cultural memes, and live commentary on the night’s big game.
The week before, Facebook IQ published a white paper entitled, “Moments that Matter” stating that the site was home to billions of posts about the most important steps in a user's life. And just before that, Think with Google published a “Micro-Moments Guide”. Anyone detect a theme here?
Why Video Marketers Should Care About Micro Moments
What are micro-moments? Why, they’re “moments that truly matter”. And, which moments really matter? You know, the ones “when we’re looking to engage with brands”.
Video marketers have to be ready for these micro-moments. And, since most people check their phones 150 times a day, but spend only 177 minutes on their phones per day, Google calculates that mobile sessions, on average, are just one minute and 10 seconds long. Well, that’s a relief. I was afraid that it was shorter than the attention span of a goldfish, which is nine seconds.
So, what should video marketers do if it appears that smartphones have turned their target audience into Minutemen and Minutewomen – give or take 10 seconds? How long should your videos be in a world full of fast food, on-demand services, speed dating, quickie divorce, instant gratification, rapid response, momentary lapses of judgement, temporary insanity, hurry-up offense, and sudden death? Well, don’t jump to any conclusions. Averages can mask a lot of variations.
Average Length: Most Watched Videos on Each Platform
According to Tubular, the most watched YouTube video ever (with 2.4B views) is 'Gangnam Style' by Psy, which comes in at 4 minutes and 12 seconds. And the most watched Facebook video ever belongs to this viral video from SketchShe which has generated 212.3M views. It runs for 3 minutes and 30 seconds:
When it comes to micro video, the most watched Vine to date is the infamous 'Duck Army', which has attracted 127.9M views, or loops. It is of course, only 6 seconds long. Oh, and you'll need to turn the volume on to get the full effect for this one:
The most watched Instagram video is “Just Tickling Simba” with 7.2 million views. It is 15 seconds long. And finally, the most watched Twitter video to date one about a hedgehog getting some fuss. Viewers can enjoy this spectacle for 15 seconds too.
Now, if I average the length of these six videos, then it comes out to one minute and 26 seconds long – which isn’t the length of any of these popular videos. Two are longer and four are shorter than average.
Create Video Content That Matters - Whatever the Length
So, my tactical advice to you is: Avoid being average. If you are creating content for Vine, then the “moments that matter” are going to be under 6-seconds long. But, if you’re creating content for YouTube, where there are no limits, then focus on making content that truly matters.
Will anybody watch “longer” content? Well, there are 10 YouTube videos with more than 1 billion views – and they range in length from three minutes and 10 seconds long to four minutes and 47 seconds long. Now, all 10 are music videos, but ask yourself this question: “How many viewers/listeners do you think are going to stop watching/listening to content that truly matters before the music video ends?”
Now, this column is shorter than the ones that I normally write. But, I’ve always told readers that a video should be long enough to reach a point. And, I think I just reached my point.