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I recently spoke at IAB’s Video Nation Connect 2016 on the Evolution of Video and Social and see below for the full presentation and my thoughts below.


However, 8 years ago it was a very different story. The main players emerging on the social stage were Facebook and Twitter and while video sharing made up an important component of the social content the platforms weren’t built to host videos. There was a heavy reliance on YouTube, first as just innocuous links and then as embedded videos. YouTube was sitting pretty – here were two emerging and growing platforms feeding it’s thriving revenue model. Facebook and Twitter were aware of the growing demand for video to be viewed within the platforms themselves and enabled embedded YouTube and Vimeo links but they were working on their own solutions.

2013 came along heralding in a new age in Social Video. The first shots were fired by Twitter by acquiring a 7 second looping video platform, and network in its own right, Vine. Not only did this foster a new way of viewing, sharing and capturing video but it kick-started a new wave of video influencers, “the Vine Stars” like Thomas Sanders and  Lele Pons. Not to be outdone, Facebook quickly caught up with Instagram’s 14 second video offering. Making a splash in its own right was the independent newcomer Snapchat: a 9 second disposable micro-moment that would become the must have network for Gen Z and brought with it its own host of influencers and stars.

In 2014, with video firmly on the agenda for all players Facebook and Twitter both launched native video solutions which saw billions of views which were usually reserved for YouTube now being consumed on Facebook and Twitter. As well as providing a better experience for users by hosting the videos on Facebook natively, the scales were tipped in Facebook favour by an algorithm that favoured native Facebook videos in newsfeed rankings and cost per clicks respectively.

2015 would bring another evolution of social video with the introduction of live video broadcasting platforms Meerkat and Twitter’s Periscope. Snapchat joined the live video party by inking deals with NFL, Wimbledon and Fashion Week to provide Live updates. Again, never to be undone Facebook changed the game with their live broadcasting offering with Facebook Live. Facebook offered influencers, and then brands, the ability to live-stream events drawing the community together in real-time.  In 2016, Facebook Live became available to all users and provided a live map where they could tune into events unfolding live rivalling news channels with the agility of reporting events as they happened.

The evolution of video on social has seen the leap from social sharing to social “living” but where can we expect to go from here? Well, where we watched Facebook and YouTube battle for video views and budget the next battle seems to be between Facebook and Snapchat who command 8 billion and 10 billion daily video views respectively. In advertising terms the money is on Facebook retaining their monetary crown, however, Snapchat’s media options are set to become available in Ireland in Q4. This could usher in a cue for advertisers to redirect budget to Snapchat in a bid to chase the younger demographic.

And while that may be where the advertisers could be tempted to go, the creative teams are being lead to Facebook’s VR offering. Recently at Cannes, Within’s Chris Milk stated:

“VR is a completely new medium, which will do for emotional experiences what the internet did for information.”

Facebook are leading the path to these emotional experiences and their 360 video platform has opened a whole new dimension (literally!) in creative story-telling. Radical too availed of the new platform for AIB by creating 360 video experience for AIB’s GAA sponsorship giving fans an immersive VR experience of standing on The Hill in Croke Park which you can view here. Not only was this campaign incredibly enjoyable to make but it is being warmly received by fans of GAA and fans of VR alike.

From the trends we are seeing in advertising there are two things for certain: The future of advertising is video and the future of video is VR.