The visual revolution shows no signs of stopping.
Snapchat’s daily video views have tripled since May; a spokesperson for the social media app told The Financial Times that 6 billion videos are watched through its platform each day.
The announcement means Snapchat is fast approaching Facebook’s video views. Last week, the social network announced that 8 billion videos are watched daily on either the desktop platform or through its mobile app.
“Over the next few years, video is going to be some of the most engaging content online,” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg recently told analysts.
One of the ways Facebook is gathering and sharing engaging video content is through “Live,” its live-streaming feature similar to Periscope and Meerkat.
Facebook product manager Vadim Lavrusik and Facebook product marketing specialist Peter Yangannounced in a company blog post that users can now subscribe to their favorite Live participants.
Available only to select public figures and celebrities, Live is boosting the network’s video views in real time. Lavrusik and Yang revealed how popular the tool is becoming:
Live is like having a television studio in your pocket, and since launch, we’ve been inspired by all the ways that Live has been used around the world. More than 60% of broadcasters are from countries outside the US, with Brazil, Taiwan and Italy among the top places for Live broadcasters.
Several public figures—including Kevin Hart, Ian Somerhalder, and Donald Trump—have had more than 200,000 people tuning in live to their broadcasts. And Vin Diesel recently used Live to talk with his fans and preview several upcoming film scripts, reaching over 1 million live viewers. As a public figure, whether you have a hundred million fans or a few thousand, Live is a great way for you to grow and connect authentically with your audience.
Pictures are still worth thousands of words
Though the popularity of video is growing dramatically, the power of a static image is nothing to ignore.
A recent Pinterest feature highlights this; the visual social network rolled out a tool called “in-pin search.” The search tool enables users to search for a particular item or items within pins, showing retail results that can help users buy directly from a pin, such as an inspiring living-room layout.
Pinterest explained the feature—and showed a GIF of it in action— on its blog:
When you spot something in a Pin that you want to learn more about, tap the search tool in the corner. Then select the part of the Pin you’re interested in, and we’ll show you Pins just like it. You can even filter your visual search results by topic so you find exactly what you’re looking for.
So if you zoom in on that lamp, you can discover what it’s called (“Antiqued Metal Funnel Pendant”), and where you can find it (Restoration Hardware). If you want to know more—like how to get a table like that—just resize your selection and move it around to instantly see more Pins.
Pinterest announced that the in-pin search feature works only on organic pins, not on ads—but that shouldn’t deter marketers.
What this means for brand managers
The recent announcements and features of these social media platforms encourage marketing and PR pros to join particular networks or apps in order to reach consumers. It can also provide motivation to create content that fans and followers crave.
The rise of online video and image consumption also gives these platforms more data about its users. The more information Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest and other social media sites have about users, the more valuable these platforms become to brand managers and investors seeking to understand consumer behavior.
The influx of data will benefit more than just the platforms themselves; social media sites have stepped up their offerings to help marketing and PR pros better understand and reach their audiences.
On Wednesday, Instagram announced a partner program to help organizations expand their brands through the visual social media app. It has 40 partners, including experts in advertising technology (buying, managing and optimizing ads), community management and content marketing.
Instagram explained the value behind the new program on its blog:
Instagram Partners help solve a wide variety of business challenges—whether its driving more installs for a new mobile gaming app, or driving in-store foot-traffic during the holidays. We have partners available to help drive both brand and performance objectives across a wide range of businesses.
“Instagram gives brands a powerful platform to drive consumer awareness and action, and to reach new, qualified audiences,” says Laura O’Shaughnessy, co-founder and CEO of Instagram partner SocialCode. “Since becoming an Instagram partner, we’ve helped more than 40% of our client advertisers launch Instagram campaigns driving their objectives.”
Brand managers can also start buying and selling data directly from one another.
Adobe recently unveiled “Audience Marketplace,” a new feature within its Marketing Cloud. Through it, PR and marketing pros can buy and sell second- or third-party data from each other. Marketing Land explained:
First-party data is the term used to describe brand-owned info about their own customers or site/app visitors. Second-party data is first-party data sold or traded with someone else. Third-party data is aggregated data like demographics, which anyone can buy.
By helping create these relationships and trades between organizations, brand managers can more easily understand other audiences and find new consumers.
Steve Ustaris, OwnerIQ’s senior vice president of marketing, told Marketing Land that he doesn’t see Adobe as a data-sharing competitor yet but he’s glad that it’s emphasizing second-party data sharing:
… [The] emphasis on second-party data sharing by a giant like Adobe, he said, will help make it more commonplace. Soon, he said, it will be regularly expected that a brand like Nike will want to trade its first-party data with another brand—even in another industry—that could have overlapping customer types, like Red Bull.