Video content and ads helped Facebook record a strong quarterly earnings call on Thursday as its average revenue per user increased by more than 49 per cent year-over-year in the United States and Canada. Facebook claims that its drive to “put video first” has been key to the impressive third-quarter showing.
The tech giant did not reveal any data in terms of total viewership outside its statement last year that there are more than eight billion clips viewed for three seconds or more each day, but it is fair to say that video consumption on the platform is growing at a remarkable rate due to the emergence of mobile, bigger screens, sharper cameras and improved content creation.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg also revealed that advertisers and brands have finally come to grips with what works for video, with many now seeking to grab the attention of viewers within several seconds and eschew overly long intros. This is part of how they “communicate the product value quickly,” which is essential to success on smartphones.
Facebook has also been able to tap into the growing demand for high-quality content via its development of a powerful distribution network. The popular feed-based approach to serving up relevant news, stories and posts has been key to enabling users to discover better content, and developments in data networks mean that they can now access it instantly in the highest resolution.
“What is enabling video to become huge right now is that fundamentally, the mobile networks are getting to a point where a large enough number of people around the world can have a good experience watching a video,” Facebook co-founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Mark Zuckerberg said on the earnings call earlier this week.
He added: “If you go back a few years and you tried to load a video in News Feed, it might have to buffer for 30 seconds before you watched it, which wasn’t a good enough experience for that to be the primary way that people shared. But now you can — it loads instantly.” Data shows that there are now 1.79 billion users logging into Facebook and that engagement is growing in tandem with user count.