Facebook continues video push, outlines new experiences

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 14 October 2015

Facebook has been eyeing off video for some time, but the social behemoth has further outlined how video is now going to play a central role in its experience.

Will Cathcart, VP of product management, announced overnight that Facebook is testing new video formats and experiences, saying that video has become an integral part of how people discover and consume content, and that it is no different on Facebook.

“We know people enjoy these more immersive video experiences, but we’re also learning that people want to watch videos in different ways at different times. We have been testing a number of new features that give people more flexibility when watching videos, whether you’re watching a video in the News Feed on the go or sitting down to enjoy multiple videos back to back,” Cathcart said.

He revealed Facebook has been testing suggested videos on iPhone, making it easier for people to discover multiple related videos in a row after you tap on a video from News Feed. Facebook said it has also started to test this on the web, and plans to test it on Android phones in the coming months.

Cathcart also explained that now people will be able to save videos to watch later, but in a move that others are calling “the video News Feed” Facebook has said it is testing a dedicated place on Facebook for people to go to 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. It can be accessed by tapping a 'Videos' icon at the bottom of the Facebook app on iPhone or in the 'Favorites' section on the left-hand side of News Feed on the web,” he said.

“We’ll be testing this with a small number of people now, so this isn’t something most people will see on Facebook right away. We look forward to seeing how people use it to discover, watch and share videos with their friends.”

Facebook bolstering video is just a continuation of its long-term strategy which Ellie Rogers, Facebook Australia's head of agency sales, outlined to AdNews at the beginning of the year, saying: “We've shifted everything about the platform to be a video platform.”

“Video is a very important tool within the Facebook platform and we're focused on how people can watch video, when and how they want. We didn't expect it to grow so much. We've talked to agencies in the past about being social publishers, being mobile and now we talk to them about being a video platform,” Rogers said.

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