On your marks, get set, go! The race for instant video heats up.

On your marks, get set, go! The race for instant video heats up.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

The competition for instant video is becoming a fierce one. Facebook upped its stakes in the mobile video race last week, with the launch of Instant Video on Messenger. The new feature is a step in the direction of Snapchat and will allow users to share live video instantly with their Facebook friends.

Announcing the news within a blog post, Facebook said that “Instant Video is a reflection of the ubiquity of video” where individuals “simply expect to have that ability in real-time, all the time”.

To utilise the new feature, users need to tap on the video icon in the top right corner of an open Messenger conversation, to start sharing real-time video. Audio is off by default but sound can easily be turned on. The video will float over the active text conversation that users can continue while viewing the video. The recipient within the conversation can watch the video stream and share a video back if they decide.

Much like Snapchat’s video chat offering, Facebook will also support sending video notes to friends, while not necessarily looking for an immediate response.


The competition

When it comes to mobile video it seems Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are nipping at each other’s heals. When Instagram recently launched Stories, which incorporated a set of art tools for doodling on photos and videos before adding them to a story, users were initially confused by the similarities with Snapchat. Had the two companies merged, they wondered?

In an interview with TechCrunch, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom freely admitted that they’d copied Snapchat. “When you are an innovator, that’s awesome. Just like Instagram deserves all the credit for bringing filters to the forefront. This isn’t about who invented something. This is about a format, and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it,” he said.

The impact on video advertising

The video format, and in particular live streaming, is where industry attention is at, at present. Mobile video consumption is predicted to grow 33% in 2017, and in 2018 mobile devices will account for 64% of all online video views, (according to Online Video Forecasts 2016 by Zenith). This growing dominance of mobile video consumption by social platforms particularly is having significant impact on video advertising. According to a recent study by ExchangeWire Research, entitled ‘UK Mobile & Video Advertising Truths’, 95% of buy-side respondents believe video ad spend will eclipse spend on static ad formats in five years time. Media sellers concur, with 89% in agreement. More than a third (36%) of buyers and over four in every ten (42%) of sellers think the eclipse will take place in just two years time.

The study, commissioned by Rubicon Project, found that media buyers and media sellers predict the growth in video ad spend is likely to come from new formats such as 360 video and virtual reality, and location-based video.


Commenting on the study, James Brown, managing director of UK & Nordics, for Rubicon Project, says:

“Without question, video is an incredibly effective format for consumer engagement. It has the ability to engage multiple senses at a time, including the non-verbal ones that often speak the loudest. It speaks to human beings’ primordial connection to storytelling and narrative. And from a more utilitarian perspective, video is also proving to be a highly effective format for engaging consumers on the mobile devices they’ve adopted in droves.”

The full report is available for download here.

The warm-up is over. Now’s the time to be exploring video, if you aren’t already.