Until a few years ago, people could have been forgiven for thinking that Facebook was meant for text-based status updates, Instagram for images, and YouTube for sharing videos. Not anymore, though. As the below Facebook video stats prove, video is the king of content on all platforms now, with the Facebook-Instagram behemoth giving fierce competition to YouTube. When it comes to the business or advertising aspect of videos, Facebook has already captured a big share of the market. Read on to discover just how big are videos on Facebook nowadays.
Even though other sources claim over 8 billion average daily video views on the platform, we prefer to believe the slightly more conservative figure from the company itself. Moreover, a 4-billion daily figure is impressive enough by itself! This is just 1 billion short of the 5 billion average daily views on YouTube, and videos are not even Facebook’s primary offering.
In terms of how many videos are watched on Facebook daily; given the wide variation in video length from less than five seconds to a few hours, the exact number of videos must vary as well. That said, the number of video hours might be a better metric to observe. This figure for Facebook is much lower than the 500 million hours watched daily on YouTube, but that could be partly because the average length of videos on Facebook tends to be lower.
The above Facebook video stats are yet another truly incredible number, far surpassing the daily user base for YouTube, which is traditionally known as the most popular global platform for video content. This makes Facebook the prime candidate for marketers to use videos to target a global audience, whether they represent a business, an influencer, or any other content creator.
Facebook’s head of operations in the EMEA region made a similar statement around the same time. While video might not completely replace written content in the next couple of years, this statement by the head of Facebook is a clear indication of the direction of most of the company’s initiatives and investments.
The overall average engagement rate for Facebook posts has fallen throughout 2018 to 3.91%. Out of these, Facebook video engagement stats show that, at 6.01%, video post score above other categories like photo posts (4.81%), link posts (3.36%), and status posts (2.21%).
Facebook Stories, short user-generated photo or video content that can be shared publicly for just 24 hours, were introduced in March 2017. A similar format has been popular through Instagram Stories, which is used by 400 million out of Instagram’s 1 billion active users, making it a familiar channel with significant growth potential on Facebook. One-third of the most-viewed Instagram Stories are from businesses, and Facebook Stories may end up being as fruitful for marketers.
Facebook Live brings the thrill of sharing events as they occur with a broader audience to everyone with a phone now. Viewers also seem to enjoy these live videos, and Facebook live statistics show that such content already accounts for about 20% of the overall video content on the platform.
With 95% of Facebook users accessing the platform on mobile devices, mobile video viewing was bound to catch up. This is a rising trend and a clear message to Facebook video advertisers and content creators to make mobile video their top priority.
Creating videos that look as good on smartphone screens as they do on wider desktop and laptop screens requires some special considerations. As Facebook says, play with zoom, crop, and overall visual composition to make sure your story is told well on a small screen.
Facebook video stats show that the default mode for videos in most users’ feeds is silent. Users click on the icon to enable sound only when the video or its description catches their eye. This makes it necessary for marketers to effectively convey their visual message, using captions, logos, and products.
There’s a reason why Facebook keeps feed videos silent. Its research has indicated that 4 out of 5 users react negatively both toward the platform and the advertiser if ads in the feed play out loud when people aren’t expecting it. Advertisers should take these Facebook video engagement stats into account when creating video ads, making sure their stories don’t require sound to communicate their message.
You may have seen their videos, but there’s a chance you haven’t heard some of these publishers’ names. The LAD Bible, based in the UK, had monthly views of 2.45 billion in March 2018, making it the most-watched video publisher on Facebook. Other notable names include UNILAD (2.12 billion), VT (1.96 billion), Tasty (1.17 billion), 9Gag (0.46 billion), Ellen (0.38 billion), and T-Series (0.02 billion).
In its bid to displace YouTube as the top platform for videos, Facebook statistics show that the platform prioritizes directly uploaded videos over video shared from another source like YouTube. Native videos start playing automatically and play right in the Facebook interface, resulting in faster and simpler user experience. Compared to YouTube videos on the platform, native videos have a 1055.41% higher average share rate and 300% better engagement from viewers.
The strategy of promoting native videos seems to be working based on the Facebook video stats in the previous point and the fact that 85% of video posts on Facebook now use native videos. Facebook pages with more than 10 million followers tend to use native videos the most and, as a result, saw their average video use grow by over 35% during the six months this study was carried on.
Facebook’s user behavior studies have found that users find videos a lot more interesting than other kinds of posts, which is one of the reasons behind the growing popularity of features like Facebook live videos. This fact can be used not just by marketers but also by general users to improve the engagement rate of their posts.
45% even continue watching for thirty seconds. This makes it critical for marketers to connect with their audience and capture attention right away. Measures like eye-catching images and titles, front-loading lifestyle/product shots, and recognizable spokespeople are all ways to create viewer interest right at the beginning.
If a viewer watches a Facebook video for at least 3 seconds, it counts as a “view.” In such a scenario, if viewers are watching 10 or more seconds of your videos, it means they are consuming your content, and the result is a positive sentiment. If you can get this average to the 15-second range, it means the engagement level of your Facebook videos is impressive.
Given the listicle-mania of a large portion of the audience, this is one of the more expected Facebook video facts. Titles with phrases like “5 Things,” “10 Best,” and “20 Most” tend to get three to four times higher views. The study, however, found that in the case of Facebook video ads, titles starting with “7 Things” did even better than those with “5” and “10.”
This is an indirect sign that mobile viewing of videos is more common than one on desktop or laptop. Square videos (1:1) take up 78% more space in a person’s mobile newsfeed than landscape ones (16:9) and, therefore, get seen more often.
This massive share of nearly one quarter includes Instagram and is worth $6.81 billion. This also makes Facebook the top social video ad platform in the US. Facebook video trends indicate that this dominance will continue in the near future, with a double-digit growth estimated through 2020.
Facebook’s video ad revenue (excluding Instagram’s) was just about 674 million in 2015. It increased by nearly 7 times to reach $4.4 billion in 2018. This impressive rate of growth is continued to sustain at least until 2021 when it will come very close to $10 billion.
It’s not surprising that Facebook video marketing (along with Instagram) accounts for a lion’s share of the social network ad spending in the US as well. Notably, Facebook’s revenue from video is only about 30% of its overall revenue, while for Twitter and Snapchat, their video ad earnings already account for 55 to 60% of their total revenues.
The average time users spent watching videos, a key metric to attract advertisers, was inflated by Facebook for about two years. Instead of calculating the metric as the total time spent watching a video divided by the total number of people who played the video, it was calculating it as the total time spent watching a video divided by the number of views. Facebook’s initial estimation was that this created a discrepancy of 60 to 80%, but new documents released in 2018 show that this could have been as high as 900%. This was a major factor in advertisers investing more money into Facebook ads compared to YouTube and other platforms. Thankfully, Facebook video views statistics are more reliable now as the company works with third-party measurement companies and has agreed to audits from the Media Rating Council.
It also seems that the higher ad spend on Facebook is not unjustified. For the first time in 2018, Facebook beat YouTube, the longtime market leader, to become the platform where the highest number of people watch video ads. Compared to Facebook, only 41% of consumers see video ads on YouTube. The share of other platforms like Instagram (8%), Twitter (2%), LinkedIn (2%), and Snapchat (1%) is much lower.
Facebook video statistics indicate that ad targeting on the platform has improved substantially over the years, delivering relevant content to viewers much more often. As the number of people watching videos on Facebook increases, ads will continue to reach them with increasing accuracy. This means that the ROI on Facebook video ads, particularly important for small businesses, will continue to improve as well.
According to an April 2017 survey, 67% of US marketers were using video ads on Facebook, while 51% were doing so on YouTube. 25% were investing in video ads on Twitter, with the same percentage doing so on Instagram. By all parameters, Facebook has beaten YouTube at its own game, and if it is not the leader globally as well, it looks like it will soon be.
The previous excerpt from video statistics does not mean that Twitter and Instagram are being completely ignored now. Even though marketers feel more confident in spending on video content on Facebook and YouTube (62% planned a spending increase on YouTube), there are enough (50 to 52%) who intend to allocate more funds for these platforms, as well. Evidently, video ads are winning over other forms of advertising on social media overall, which largely contributes to the rise of social media-focused marketing analytics software.
Based on past performance, Facebook also wins the confidence of the highest number of US marketers when it comes to driving views (87%), engagement (86%), and purchases (83%). For comparison, the corresponding figures for YouTube are slightly lower at 84%, 81%, and 79%, respectively.
A measure of Facebook video ROI comes from a study comparing advertising campaign spend and reach between TV and Facebook videos. TV ads remain one of the main ways for many marketers to run their campaigns, but the study shows that with as high as 20X investment, the reach marketers get on TV is just a little over 2X that of Facebook video ads. The average cost per user reached is significantly lower on Facebook.
Sponsored content is a smart way to engage viewers as such videos are typically more interesting than pure ads. Thanks to the effort put in by brands to make their content worth watching by their intended audiences, Facebook business statistics show a massive increase in the viewership of sponsored or branded videos on the platform. The corresponding increase on YouTube was 99%.
71% of the branded video views generated on Facebook between 2016 and 2017 were on videos from media companies, compared to 29% views on videos from influencers. Media companies maintained a consistent lead over influencers over this period. As far as genres for branded content are concerned, entertainment is by far the most popular, followed by sports, food and drink, people and blogs, music and dance, and so on.
The average cost per click for video campaigns on Facebook is between $0.15 to $0.50, while the CPC for single image ads is typically $2.00 and higher, for the same audience. Videos have a cheaper CPC because they get a more significant impression share. If you are a small business without the budget to produce a dedicated video ad, you can use Facebook’s in-platform tools to create slideshows of products and services and use them as video content.
What this Facebook video statistics data point translates to is that even if viewers watch only a portion of the total ad, there is an increase in metrics like ad recall, brand awareness, and purchase intent. There is an obvious constant increase in campaign value the longer an ad is watched, but even if viewers don’t see the ad at all and just see the impression, which counts as a static ad, they are still impacted by it. This also means that marketers need to look deeper than view counts to measure total campaign value.
Facebook video stats show that there’s a good reason for creating video content specifically for mobile viewing. Playing recycled TV ads causes a 40% lift in brand awareness while message association leads to a 41% lift. For that extra edge in the competitive world of marketing, marketers need to adjust ad length, grab attention in the first few seconds, and focus on full-screen vertical experiences for effective mobile-optimized videos.
Facebook’s research on in-stream ads has shown that people have very low tolerance for long ads. Interrupting content to show ads is also more acceptable to viewers if the video is long enough. These insights have led Facebook to limit in-stream ad length to 15 seconds and place ads in videos that are at least 3 minutes long.
It turns out that when a brand is revealed in an ad has a marked influence on aided recall. Compared to ads that do not feature the brand at all, featuring it in 4 seconds or later increases brand recall by 13%. But if in the same ad the brand was to be featured within the first 3 seconds, the brand recall would go up by 23%.
According to Facebook’s in-house research, how people consume content determines what it means for advertising differs across environments. In News Feed, for example, people are in discovery mode and tune in several times a day, not spending much time on content (including ads). In Facebook Watch, on the other hand, users intend to consume content and are open to watching longer ads. This bit of Facebook user statistics has a strong bearing on how marketers use ads across different environments.
According to the same research, who is watching the video ad changes the consumption pattern as well. Younger users are known for their lower attention spans and multi-tasking. This results in less attention from them on the video ads playing. The amount of attention seems to increase along with users’ age.
Facebook users pay attention to the captions advertisers use with their ads, especially since most ads are played without sound. In fact, according to Facebook advertising statistics, advertisers have reported an increase of up to 25% in watch time. This makes it important for marketers to accord as much care to this aspect of Facebook video ads as they do to the actual ad. Facebook’s automated captioning tool is a good way to generate effective captions.
An analysis of 300,000 Facebook videos with CTAs found that 95.9% had CTAs post-roll, 4% had them mid-roll, and 0.1% had them pre-roll. However, mid-roll CTAs had the highest conversion rate at 16.9%, compared to 10.98% for post-roll, and 3.15% for pre-roll. By placing their Facebook video CTA mid-roll, marketers capture an audience that’s already intrigued with their ad while they’re still paying attention.
Based on these Facebook video stats, the platform has emerged as a tough competitor to YouTube in the video stakes and has even beaten Google on a number of important metrics. Video advertising is one area where Facebook is a clear leader, with its reach and accurate targeting ensuring high ROI for marketers. However, marketers should be careful about aspects like mobile optimization and correct CTA placement if they truly want optimal returns from Facebook video advertising.