We said we might talk about Twitter this time but the news is so bad, we thought we would wait. So, we have Facebook turning the volume down and a Myspace revival?
Facebook Silences the Video
You would think with the tremendous interest in video, Facebook would be happy to have it. Actually, they aren’t really silencing video – just turning the volume down.
Advertising videos, user videos, news videos, Facebook wants them all and they are getting there. True to form, Facebook is trying to make it all but impossible to embed YouTube videos on FB and they are pushing video advertising big time. They now have a whopping 8 billion video views every day – more than double last year’s number.
The push goes on for good reason. Videos are attention grabbers, the more videos they have, the more our attention they keep and the more advertising dollars they get. Businesses benefit as well since video has an organic reach that is about 30% higher than a simple post and twice that of a simple photo post.
In what appears to be an unusually considerate move, Facebook is offering advertisers the ability to have Facebook automatically create “instant captions,” known to the rest of us as “subtitles” on video ads.
Facebook users may see this as FB finally being “nice.”
Not really. Though it may be good for the user, it is better for FB.
Many FB users, especially those over 30, don’t want their smartphone to blast sound from an auto play video into a meeting, an office, the grocery store or even the living room. Unlike the tech-forward and millennials, the over 30 crowd doesn’t often walk around with earbuds on.
For one thing, users over 30 don’t wear them because they are afraid of getting hit by a bus without hearing it coming, but, they also can’t figure out how to keep the silly things in their ears. This means that in order to “stop that racket,” many of the over-30 population keep the media volume down or even off.
Unfortunately, a lot of videos are filmed with the sound as an integral part of the message. If you can’t hear the sound, you don’t get the story. Facebook says that at least 40% of video ads don’t make any sense without the sound. So, they solved it for us by offering advertisers the option of “instant captions” – again, subtitles if you aren’t keeping up.
Advertisers can “opt-in” to the program so if you don’t need it, you don’t have to have it. If you do choose to let FB create those for you, they will tell you how many played with sound and how many without.
So Facebook makes the users happy, keeping their attention so they see your ads and revenue goes up.
Get the social skinny on Facebook right from Facebook itself.
If a large part of your video story is told only with sound, maybe you need to reconsider. You need to think about the imagery and how to brand your product without a wordy conversation. As Facebook is showing, a lot of people on smartphones use social media with the sound off and if your message is mainly an audio track with pictures, it doesn’t work. Seriously, people aren’t listening.
Facebook’s instant captions (again…subtitles) will help, but it would be better if your imagery spoke for itself. Telling a story with images is part of why Instagram is so big with millennials – they want to know your story.
Facebook also says that the first 3 seconds of a video provide half the value and 75% within 10 seconds. If you don’t grab them right away – the attention wanders. Captivating visual imagery is where you need to start and move right away to your messaging.
Time buys Myspace?
Seems like just yesterday, Myspace was the newest thing. Not really since Facebook just turned 12 years old.
Myspace was “the” social media network before Facebook, but Facebook’s clean, user-friendly platform lured pretty much everyone away from Myspace. In 2008, Myspace peaked with about 76 million users and made about $800 million. Rupert Murdoch said he could have sold it for $8 billion at that time, but he didn’t. Too bad for him. It was the premier site for musicians and artists as well as “regular” people but Justin Bieber had been discovered on YouTube in 2007 and Facebook was a lot easier to use, so the writing was on the wall.
That same year (2008), Facebook overtook Myspace and has been growing ever since. Myspace kind of faded into the sunset dropping to 25 million users by the time Specific Media Group and Justin Timberlake purchased the platform for a mere $35 million in 2011. Plans were to “reset” the platform with a redesign, just for musicians. It didn’t work and Mr. Pop (JT) left but Specific Media Group became the apparently giant, advertising company Viant and they kept Myspace (maybe because no one wanted to buy it).
Time, Inc. – yes, that one – has just announced that they are purchasing Viant.
Actually, most of the announcements say that they are buying Myspace, but really, Myspace is a rider and not the real target.
Viant claims to have data from over 1.2 billion users. Users of what? We don’t really know but they are an ad company. If you thought all that data was private, it isn’t and you need to get used to it – nothing is private on the Internet.
Time, Inc. is of course famous for Time Magazine (duh), but they also have a lot of other notable brands including Fortune, Essence, Southern Living and People. They call them “brands” now instead of magazines because no one really reads paper anymore. It’s all about the websites – which makes it all about digital advertising.
In case you didn’t know, Time Inc. was spun off Time Warner in 2014, largely due to the fall off magazine readership, once again making the point that digital is the only game in town.
Even though the announcements and news stories say that Time bought Myspace, what they bought is Viant’s data which will help them target advertising better. Obviously, they hope that they can convert all those former magazine readers into digital views.
So, what happens to Myspace? Probably not much, but we’ll see.
We got the telegram from Telegraph but the news is everywhere.
Point is: You never know when the “latest thing” is going to drop off the face of the planet. Well, that’s true for almost any company – except Facebook of course. Nearly 90% of everyone on the Internet is a Facebook user – Facebook is even big in the over-65 set. Pretty much everyone is on Facebook.
Myspace’s demise shows that if you don’t keep up with technology – and respond to your customers’ needs, they can go somewhere else. But it also points out, Facebook is everything in social media.
It is usually worth it to check out newer social media that might target your specific demographic – like Instagram for millennials (incidentally owned by Facebook) but that comes second to Facebook itself.
We keep saying it but we’ll say it again. Facebook is everything in social media. If you don’t have a Facebook strategy, you need one – like yesterday.