Social video: the long and short of it
By: Ben Thomas
This week, we’ve got three different social platforms employing three different strategies to grow their audiences through long-form video.
After launching in June 2018, Instagram has been promoting its long-form video app IGTV within the main Instagram app. Their newest approach to grow the IGTV audience - to the much larger Instagram userbase - is inserting short preview videos into users’ main feeds, where they can click through to watch the full video on IGTV.
Over on Snapchat, rapper Bhad Bhabie (of “Cash me outside, how bou’ dat?” fame. Yeah, her.) launched her new reality show to an audience of 10 million people. To put that number into context, an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians averages about 1.5 million viewers. There’s no shortage of stories about Snapchat’s audience being on the decline, primarily due to Facebook and Instagram launching similar features and creating what’s been dubbed “Stories Fatigue”. But the success of Bhad Bhabie’s series could give Snapchat confidence that exclusive long-form content is the way to keep and attract users.
Finally, Facebook is trying to attract content creators – and therefore more content – to its video platform, Facebook Watch. As an example, during the annual VidCon in February, Facebook will offer talks, tools and workshops to Creators to inspire them to make content that people seek out and view on Watch.
While the approaches are different, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are all showing their commitment to a common goal: taking social media from a periphery platform for long-form content to the star of the show.