Video content marketing has become more prevalent over the past few years and as a result, more important to marketers. Many internet portals and social media networks have scrambled over the last few years to add videos to their platforms, and to find ways to monetize this content. In recent weeks, two of the giants of social media, Facebook and LinkedIn announced plans that would help each of platforms make more of their video content offerings.
LinkedIn is the biggest announcement, since they are only just beginning their video content offerings. The social network for business professionals is starting off slowly. Not only will they only allow 30-second clips to be shown in LinkedIn news feeds, but the feature will initially only be available to a few select LinkedIn users before it become available to everyone.
LinkedIn’s cautiousness may be annoying to anyone who is eager to see or post videos on their LinkedIn pages, but the slow start makes sense. Since LinkedIn is a business-focused site, many of the videos people are likely to post would be advertising or marketing materials. To let every LinkedIn user immediately post all the videos they wanted would lead to a degradation of the value of the platform, as it would be filled with non-stop ads and infomercials.
Right now, LinkedIn is only allowing a hand-selected group of about 500 influencers to post videos on their accounts. LinkedIn is having its Influencers answer questions related to their areas of expertise and respond to the videos posted by other Influencers. In other words, it’s not a free for all where everyone can post whatever. And for now, regular LinkedIn users can only watch the videos and comment on them.
“Today your LinkedIn Feed will come to life in a whole new way with the introduction of 30-second videos from LinkedIn Influencers,” the company explained in a blog post. “For the first time, we’ve invited more than 500 Influencers on LinkedIn to share their thoughts on trending professional topics and news, ranging from diversity and workplace culture, to education and innovation — all through the richness of video.”
On the other end of the spectrum, Facebook is looking to expand the financial benefit they get from the video content posted on their platform by introducing new ads. According to a report from AdAge, Facebook is working toward showing ads during video shown on the Facebook Live platform.
While these plans aren’t entirely finalized and official yet, Facebook did feel confident enough to confirm that such a project is in the planning stage. According to Facebook officials quoted in media reports, “We’re running a small test where a group of publishers have the option to insert a short ad break in their Facebook Live videos.”
The move is a decided change in direction for Facebook who had been resistant to pre-roll video ads (such as the videos that play before YouTube videos) in the past. The concern was that pre-roll ads had a tendency to turn away some potential viewers before the video they wanted to watch even started.
As a sort of compromise, Facebook will use midroll ads. The ads are eligible to appear five minutes into a broadcast, and they last up to 15 seconds or shorter, according to one agency executive who spoke to AdAge, and who has discussed the ads with Facebook.
Facebook Live is still relatively new so it will take time before Facebook works out all the advertising kinks and make these particular midroll ads available to everyone, but it something for marketers to keep an eye on.
For more recent news about social media marketing, read this article on recent changes to Twitter and Vine.