Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Video and Facebook

As Facebook looks to go public, more and more extraordinary data on the social networking phenomenon is being revealed, but the picture relating to video on the the site is patchy.

It's not just the sheer number of users, but the engagement - the favourite word of advertisers at the moment. It seems that whole rafts of people are spending every waking minute on Facebook. Notwithstanding what this means for employers, as no lesser authority than Tim Berners-Lee has noted, such dominance is in danger of subsuming the internet.

The latest figures I can find, from last June, indicates that 20 million videos are being added every month and the site was then generating 2 billion views, although the ComScore stats on the site show how elusive measuring video delivery over the internet is:








Facebook didn't appear at all before May this year, rapidly rose to the second biggest video site in the US and then started to slide back (due, I suspect to the way Facebook keeps on tampering with the way users can contribute to the site and the introduction of Pages).

Obviously, most of these videos are user generated, but I suspect this will rapidly change.

What is curious is that running and managing a video service on Facebook is quite difficult. The site only accepts MP4 files as progressive downloads and the FBRL markup language used on the site is very esoteric and restrictive.

However, with discovery as one of the major concerns of anyone running a video service, Facebook cannot be ignored. I suspect that somewhere they are working on a far more coherent video strategy and I stick by my prediction that Facebook will rapidly become the most important video destination on the internet.

So, it's not surprising that VidZapper, is about to launch a Facebook app - the VZPlayer Facebook edition, which allows any VidZapper channel to be loaded as a full channel with live streaming, playlists and, in the future, schedules.