By: Adam Bretz
1. Video Shines & Then Becomes the Standard
This past year Facebook went all in on video and from everything we’ve seen in our research that trend will only continue to develop in 2017 before it becomes the norm. The downside to the push of so much video is that like anything else it will eventually become a less effective norm on Facebook. It only makes sense that the microwave culture we live in will continue to lean more into those videos under a minute rather than the longer ones. i.e. – Short Vids (can) = More Engagement. This trend looks to be on many marketer’s minds, with 30% of respondents in a State of Social Media survey saying that Facebook video was the #1 channel they’re looking to add to their marketing efforts within the next 12 months. Additionally, 83% of marketers said they’d like to create more video content if they had the time/resource to do it effectively.
2. Filters, Lenses, & That’s Right AR
I’d be incredibly surprised if you’re under 40 and haven’t heard/seen the phenomenon of Pokémon Go and Snapchat selfie lenses bringing augmented reality (AR) to the forefront of worldwide attention this year, and in 2017, we’ll likely watch Facebook become a major participant and leader in the AR space. In their Q2 earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg shared some thoughts on AR:
“I like everyone else am enjoying Pokémon Go. The biggest thing that I think we can take away from this as we invest in augmented reality in addition to virtual reality is that the phone is probably going to be the mainstream consumer platform [where] a lot of these AR features first become mainstream, rather than a glasses form factor that people will wear on their face.
I think we’re seeing this in a number of places, whether it’s location through Pokémon or some of the face filter activity, I referenced the Masquerade app that we acquired earlier in my remarks. That’s kind of a fun way to augment social experiences that you’re having with someone. I think there’s a big opportunity to build out that platform and a lot more functionality around that.
And one of the big themes that we’re talking about here is becoming video first. And as people look for richer and richer ways to express themselves, just like people in the past have shared a lot of text and photos on Facebook, we think in the future more of that is going to be video, and more of these augmented reality tools I think are going to be an important part of delivering that experience and making that fun to use and expressive as it can be.”
This quote lets us know, Zuckerberg is ride or die on the smartphone (which is already widely used) becoming the medium to help scale AR.
Facebook’s acquisition of Masquerade might play a key role in this, and Facebook has already begun experimenting with lenses and masks in Facebook Live – enabling its users to try on a variety of different masks when sharing live video.
3. Growth of Search
Finally, in Facebook’s Q2 earnings report, Mark (I feel like we’re tight, and on a first name basis now, even though we’ve never met) revealed that Facebook now grosses 2 billion searches per day, up 500k from just a year ago. Right now Google still leads the way in search, with 3.5 billion searches per day which is why so many marketers talk about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) being life. But, with Facebook’s strong growth in this area, it won’t be long before we watch Facebook pursuing those ad dollars traditionally reserved for Google. Facebook VS Google on search is going to be a straight Mayweather VS McGregor bout and you better believe I’m laying the dough down on Facebook in this heavyweight matchup.
This is part of why at Social Sharkz we are so heavily interested in businesses SMO (social media optimization) because search/reach on Facebook will undoubtedly help drive attention to the content….and you already KNOW how we feel about CONTENT!!!
It’ll be interesting to me to see how this all unfolds this year and it definitely feels like a subject we’ll plunge into more on this blog in a few months.