Since its formation in 2005, YouTube has gone on to become the undisputed king of online video platforms with over one billion monthly users. Whilst they’re close to celebrating their 10th birthday and still very much enjoying success, another contender has been nipping at their heels.
In recent years Facebook has evolved into much more than just a social network. Their acquisitions of WhatsApp and Oculus Rift amongst others shows that they are taking expansion into other areas very seriously and no area more so than the online video marketplace.
The first signs of this change in direction for Facebook became apparent back in 2014 with the social network implementing a few minor changes in the way that its videos appeared in a user’s newsfeed. The changes saw the addition of the autoplay feature coupled with the displaying of view counts on videos, all of which signified the social network’s interest in pushing the platform as a place to publish video content.
Facebook aren’t alone in their efforts to capitalise on the growth of online video. Twitter have also started making video a focus point with their recent updates to the platform now allowing users to directly upload short videos to Twitter, bypassing the likes of Vine or YouTube.
Sneaking up on the outside lane is a newcomer that is getting a lot of attention over the past couple of years. Snapchat has seen its valuation soar in the past few years since Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg tried to purchase the startup for $3 Billion. A recent report claimed that they are looking for a new round of investment that would tip their valuation to around the region of $19 Billion.
When you take all this into account, it’s clear that these companies all envision video being the future of content sharing online. Adding more weight to that suggestion is the involvement from high powered politicians all around the world; recently President Obama took part in a live interview session with some of YouTube’s most popular stars. For the first time in history British politicians are also pushing online video as a major part of their campaigns for the
2015 election with the Conservative Party going as far as hiring an in-house team to produce a range of videos aimed at discrediting the opposition which they have been distributing via YouTube’s pre-roll ad service.
So far 2015 is shaping up to be the year where online video could dominate other forms of media in relation to customer reach, engagement and return on investment.
How you can use online video
For an ecommerce company, online video could be considered the next step up from great product images. In one of my previous articles I discussed the various types of videos that an ecommerce company could look at producing to get them started in the world of online video. Video allows your customers to see a product in ways that a still image simply can’t convey alone, creating a richer customer experience which can also increase customer confidence when making a decision on a purchase.
If you haven’t considered making the jump, maybe now is the time before your competitors get there first. One thing is for certain, your customers are already becoming very familiar with online video and I predict that it won’t be long before they want to see videos on your online shop.