2016 was the year of tumultuous upset and consternation. We’ve gone through breakups (RIP Brangelina), a summer of sport under the Rio sun, political controversy that caught even the candidates themselves by surprise, and a running stream of (not so) living legends passing away.
But in the midst of despair, there was one person, or rather one organisation, basking in profitability and success. Our good old friend, Facebook.
FB welcomes us daily with updates from our friends, serving up our favourite meme and, potentially less favourably, throws us back to images we’d rather forget.
Facebook keeps on growing
In the 2016 third quarter report, Facebook saw phenomenal growth, with a revenue increase of 56% to a staggering $4.5 billion. It’s userbase has grown by 16% to 1.79 billion, which now covers 24% of the earth’s population.
So just how does the social giant keep its users amused and it’s offering competitive? Well, 2016 was certainly the year of video content. I mean, the main man said it himself earlier this year:
“We’re making progress putting videos first across our apps” - Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook goes Live
Facebook Live took centre stage this year after launching in Aug 2015. Originally only available to pages only, users had to wait a while for the functionality to hit them. When it did, it came to mixed reviews. However, after Facebook launched it’s very first multi-platform campaign things started to pick up. They continued to add filters and made it more accessible to marketers.
Cut towards the end of 2016 and your feed is filled with creative live streamed polls, competitions and even broadcasts from news outlets. Marketers truly jumped on this and got creative, meaning content was varied and surpassed all other social outlets when it came to retaining engagement.
Facebook and AppleTV join forces
Then came the partnership announcement that caught some off-guard.
Facebook announced it would be using its ad network to help advertisers promote to users who who watch AppleTV. The idea was that Facebook would use IP addresses to partner AppleTV accounts with their corresponding user’s profile. This is still in testing but could revolutionise the way we see ad content when watching longer, more in-depth content.
They even started to allow marketers to start including GIFs and videos into their carousel ads, creating far more engaging and creative content to capture the user’s attention.
Launch of Slideshow
Facebook didn’t stop there, as it also wanted to give users a slice of the creative action. This year it launched ‘Slideshow’, an automatic in app program that is offered up to a user if it detects you’ve taken five or more pictures within 24 hours.
You’ll be asked if you’d like to create a slideshow with the option to use filters, music tracks and text. Showcasing your recent trip to Antigua to your mum has never been jazzier.
Okay, okay, it’s not exactly a high quality production, but it’s a pretty nice way to encourage users to get more creative with their content.
That’s not the only way Facebook has encouraged video content. They recently encouraged YouTubers to start uploading their content.
This year we’ve seen more and more ‘landmark videos’ introduced with ‘happy birthday’ and ‘friendship like yours’ clips emerging more and more frequently.
Overall it’s been a pretty significant year for video content on Facebook with more and more users engaging.
What’s next? I suspect markets and influencers may start to utilize this surge and will start to host shows on the platform. In fact, if they execute it correctly there might not be a reason for users to venture out of the network!