When Instagram announced that it has added video capabilities, the natural conclusion was that Facebook was trying to steal some of Vine’s thunder.
Simply Measured, which has studied the way brands use Instagram, recently put together some statistics showing how companies used video on Instagram (in comparison with Twitter’s Vine) shortly after launch.
Some findings, studied among the Interbrand 100 from June 20 to 26:
- Instagram videos are being used by twice as many brands, and more videos are being posted.
- Instagram videos are seeing significantly higher (over 2X) engagement than Instagram photos, suggesting brands should focus more time and energy on them.
On Thursday, Instagram launched video recording — and users could not wait to try out this new feature. Facebook reported that one year’s worth of video was uploaded in the first eight hours after launch.
Additionally, there were 5 million uploads within the first 24 hours. The company also saw a peak of 40 hours of video uploaded per minute during the decisive seventh game of the NBA Finals.
Not long after Instagram launched its video features, it appears that Facebook made a change in how Instagram’s stories are shown in the redesigned News Feed.
Specifically, stories that showed when a user liked photos on Instagram have gotten much bigger. Video posts from Instagram to Facebook are also pretty large.
The worst-kept secret in social media came to light Thursday, as Facebook introduced video for Instagram. It includes new video-specific filters, 15 seconds of multi-frame recording and a new feature called Cinema that will take shaky videos and make them look as if they were filmed professionally.
As Vine grows like crazy, Facebook needed to come up with a competitor. The iOS version of Vine — the popular 6-second video sharing app which was blocked from Facebook last year — recently hit the 13 million download mark. Facebook is hoping that Instagram’s 130 million users will be enough to make it the most popular video app. By introducing features such as Cinema and filters to video, Instagram can not only compete with Vine, but become the go-to app for advertisers.
With the addition of Cinema, a video stabilizer, brands can become major players on Instagram (and by extension Facebook), without having to spend big bucks.
Facebook has apparently hit pause on rumored auto-play video ads in the News Feed. Reports from December suggested that sometime this spring, Facebook would start selling video advertisements in its marquee space, but a story in Ad Age notes that Facebook will likely delay this product until the Fall.
Users were understandably enraged upon learning that Facebook might adopt this controversial ad unit. It was reported back in December that the company was still debating whether or not to have the sound automatically play with the video, which would probably lead to fewer time spent on News Feed.
However, it could be a huge boom for Facebook’s bottom line, as reports suggested that these ad units would have roughly the cost of a TV commercial.
Sources told Ad Age that these kinds of ads likely wouldn’t be available until this Fall at the earliest.
Even if it’s not part of Facebook’s big announcement on June 20, it appears that video is a possibility for Instagram. Developer Tom Waddington posted on his blog that he dug deep into Instagram’s code, finding hints the photo-sharing service may add video soon.
Waddington wrote that he found video code when he was going through Instagram’s application programming interface, as well as images for play, pause and volume control. This gives more weight to the recent rumors that Facebook will attempt to compete with Twitter’s popular video-sharing program Vine by adding similar capabilities to Instagram.
Rumors are circulating that Facebook may be adding video to Instagram at its June 20 product announcement. Many news outlets suggested that Facebook would be introducing a news reader prior to this speculation.
The introduction of video to Instagram would be a direct response Twitter’s video sharing service, Vine. Since its public release for iOS in January, Vine has grown significantly in popularity and its release for Android earlier this month has only bolstered this following.
There are several clues suggesting that video may be the next step for Instagram, which now boasts of 100 million active users. For example, Facebook has prevented Vine from using its friend-finding feature. By doing this, Facebook looks embed users into its platform first, rather than a service like Twitter.
Retargeting platform AdRoll announced today that it has added the option for advertisers to run self-serve Facebook Exchange retargeting ads in the News Feed. Facebook made this inventory available to Qualified DSPs, including AdRoll, earlier this month. Previously, AdRoll and other companies could only run FBX ads in the right hand sidebar of Facebook.com, but now they can bid on desktop News Feed placement. AdRoll says early tests show clickthrough rates in the single-digit percentages for News Feed, as opposed to fractions of percent in the sidebar. Unlike other retargeting ads, retargeted News Feed ads incorporate Facebook’s share, comment, and like functionalities, which leads to additional engagement and viral potential. An example of a News Feed FBX ad is below. AdRoll is actually running FBX ads retargeting visitors to its own site.
Facebook video ad units could come with TV price tags – Facebook is reportedly prepping to sell its new video ads with an “upfront”-type marketplace and TV-like prices. According to AdAge, Facebook will have four daily summer slots — women over 30, women under 30, men over 30 and men over 30 — with an asking price close to $1 million. The exact ad format hasn’t been locked down, but it is believed that the videos will be 15-seconds long and users will see no more than three per day at launch. It is unclear whether the ads will autoplay in the feed or not.
More Messenger for Android users get free calling - Facebook this week released an update for its Messenger app on Android, bringing free VoiP calling to users in the U.S. and 23 other countries. Previously, this was in testing with Android users in Canada and iOS users in several countries. From Messenger, users can tap the “i” button inside a conversation and then select “Free Call.”
Facebook today announced a deal with Rovi Corporation to use Rovi Video, a database of information about movies, TV shows and celebrities that can be used to improve search and discovery across its platform.
Rovi’s data helps power experiences like on-screen TV guides, iTunes, Flixter, BestBuy.com and many others. Facebook has been building out its “entity graph,” which are all the people, places and things that are represented with pages. Users primarily connect to these objects by Liking them, but now Facebook is making a push for users to do so through actions like “watch/want to watch,” “read/want to read” or “listen/want to listen.” Improving the metadata associated with these objects could give Facebook new opportunities when it comes to search, News Feed relevance, recommendations and offering new features for developers
Before the Rovi deal, Facebook used Wikipedia and Freebase to populate information about movies, TV shows and other entities, for example for the module on the “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” page below. However, those sources are community-curated and not necessarily as reliable as what Rovi provides for many of the largest companies in the world.