Facebook Inc announced September 8 that Facebook users now view more than 1 billion videos per day via its social media platform.
This is a steep rise, a 50% increase since May. According to data released on the Facebook news site, the daily average of views has been greater than a billion since June.
It is difficult, however, to determine how many of these “views” actually indicate an engaged user. Last year, Facebook rolled out an autoplay feature so that videos play in a user’s newsfeed without prompting — meaning that these videos may only be playing as someone scrolls through his or her feed looking at numerous posts. Facebook has also been prioritizing video posts in newsfeeds.
Some users disable the autoplay feature, since it uses data and drives up phone bills for those without unlimited plans.
The most recent release also included the announcement that Facebook will begin displaying a view counter on videos, as well as expanding efforts to suggest similar videos after a user has finished viewing.
These updates should begin rolling out this week.
Though the numbers indicate greatly increased video viewership on Facebook, they are still low compared to the views garnered by YouTube (owned by Google), the largest video sharing platform on the web. YouTube users view nearly 5 billion videos each day.
Facebook’s announcement has led many businesses to start working on how to capitalize on this video-centric environment to communicate with users and pull in more customers.
“For those large B2C companies whose target market is just about anyone with a pulse, they could benefit from video if implemented well,” says Andreas Huttenrauch, Chief Digital Strategist at Globi Web Solutions. “I’ve seen many a highly entertaining video commercial go viral on Facebook and other social media. This has to be done really well though, and comes at huge cost.”
Creating a social media strategy appears even more vital to business success when it is considered how many users interact on social media via a mobile device. Facebook also reported that mobile users made up 65% of these daily views. Over 20% of Google searches are now generated on mobile devices, it’s estimated that 91% of Americans have a phone or other mobile device within arm’s reach at all times, and a staggering estimated $119 billion will be spent via mobile commerce by 2015.