Facebook ramps up video offering


Joseph O'Halloran

| 14 October 2015

Just over a week after originally announcing that it was to extend video on its platform, social media giant Facebook has revealed more details of its offer.

RTVN 14 Oct 2015 Facebook vidThe social network says that video has continued to grow on Facebook and that it is accelerating development of new video experiences including immersive formats. It claims that 85% of people who reported visiting a social network while watching TV said they visited Facebook . Facebook usage peaks in prime time, in every country, and the maximum daily Facebook audience occurs during maximum TV viewing.

After rolling out 360 video on Facebook in September, Facebook now says that it has been testing a number of new features designed to give viewers more flexibility when watching videos, whether watching a video in news feed on-the-go or sitting down to enjoy multiple videos back-to-back.

Another key area of development is in suggested videos for viewing on an iPhone. The new functionality is intended to make it easier to discover multiple related videos in a row after you tapping on a video from news feed. The company says that initial results of the test have shown that people who have suggested videos are discovering and watching more new videos. It has now rolled out suggested videos to most people on iPhone globally, and Facebook will be starting to test ads within the experience. It is also starting to test the feature on the Web, and plans to test on Android phones in the coming months.

Other developments include examining the possibility for people to watch a video in a floating screen while simultaneously multitasking on Facebook. To make it easy to return to a video session that has to be interrupted, there would be a button that allows viewers to save a video to watch later, which can be accessed in a bookmark. It is also testing a dedicated place on Facebook for people to go when they exclusively want to watch video.

"This new videos section helps people discover, watch and share videos on Facebook that are relevant to them," said Will Cathcart, Facebook's VP of product management. "We look forward to seeing how people use it to discover, watch and share videos with their friends ... The last few years have been exciting for video, and we look forward to seeing more people discover the videos that matter to them on Facebook."