By the end of this year, video content will represent 74% of all internet traffic – and more and more of this traffic is coming from social video platforms, where video continues to evolve as a storytelling medium for brands and publishers, friends and family. As of now, Facebook videos attract 500 million unique viewers every day, and 82% of Twitter users watch video content. But these “big brothers” have a lot of work to do if they want to hold their place at the top – the last few years have showed us how a strong focus on users’ video experience could transform unknown video platforms into major competitors (read: Snapchat). So what should we expect next year? Here are 11 social video platforms that will be ramping up their game:
1. Facebook Watch
Facebook’s fickle algorithm changes, fake news controversy, and video metric miscalculations posed as a threat to the video platform’s long-held reign. Their latest video push on Watch may not make up for their rocky past, but it’s definitely generating some positive feedback. As of now, according to their Newsroom blog, there are “400 million people monthly and 75 million people daily who spend at least one minute on Watch — and on average, these 75 million daily visitors spend more than 20 minutes in Watch.” They also promise to “unify the video experience” in the coming year – so make sure to keep your eye out for some serious updates as the platform continues to prioritize video.
2018 was a very rewarding year for Instagram as they continued their heavy focus on optimizing users’ video experience. The visual storytelling video platform hit 1 billion monthly active users thanks to the game-changing updates they made over the last few years: 60-second video, Instagram Stories, live video and messages, ‘hands-free’ video, and most recently, IGTV – all of which have contributed to an exceptional growth of their ad business that won’t stop anytime soon.
First introduced as a video platform in 2017, LinkedIn video use is already up 17% from last year, with 55% of marketers planning to either continue or start leveraging it in the next year. The video platform gives marketers, B2B buyers and job seekers alike a great place to tell stories in a professional setting. Check out how B2B marketing leader SimilarWeb is using our platform to create LinkedIn videos that generate 10K+ views a month!
A few years ago, Snapchat users were watching 10 billion videos per day on the video platform, which was 2 billion more than Facebook’s number of daily video views. Snap was also doubling its acquisition with innovative companies like augmented reality startup Cimagine Media, 3D & VR company Obvious Engineering, and mobile discovery app Vurb, and with their launch of Spectacles, the first wearables on the market with social video capabilities. While Snap’s future didn’t seem so bright (especially with their latest “redesigned redesign”, which had them making drastic design choices — much to the dismay of their users), their new addition of Shows could bring new life to the platform. With Shows, publishers like The Guardian and Vice are able to produce content that ranges from three to seven minutes. Despite the lower profit margin earned by publishers, Shows are currently very well-received, with each show getting roughly 3 to 4 million views. Snap’s current plans for 2019 are to expand into more countries, introduce their long-awaited Android app, and hit some more ambitious goals that will target more advertisers and investors.
TikTok is the new Gen Z-favorite social video platform where you can go to get your next 15 minutes of fame. A whopping 500 million users all over the world are using TikTok to watch and/or share the 15-second music videos that can be easily created right in the app. The video platform has been compared to Vine – but its massive global reach and strategic business partnerships (most recently, its merger with musical.y and partnership with Modern Sky) may keep it alive much longer than its predecessor.
Since the success of Twitter and the NFL’s first live streaming partnership, Twitter has become a go-to for cord-cutters looking to watch live, high-definition sports games. Unlike other live-streaming sites, the comments on Twitter’s live videos are real-time tweets, which are publicly available and searchable. At the end of 2016, Twitter added Periscope as an in-app feature and introduced 360-degree live video capabilities. Twitter has only selected a limited number of partners to try out 360-degree streaming for now, but we’re expecting the feature to help catapult the news app back to the top this year (and bring its publishing partners along with it).
As one of the top OTT networks that allow free video sharing, Vimeo launched their own consumer-facing subscription service in late 2016. The video platform didn’t face the same resistance as Youtube did from their launch of YouTube Red, thanks to Vimeo’s creator community and their early investments in paid video content. Along with the subscription plan, Vimeo is also redesigning its service’s consumer experience, and pushing forward Vimeo Originals.
The most important video facts for each social platform
WeChat, a “one-stop-shop” social video platform that is massively popular in China, broke 700 million monthly active users last year. The versatile video platform incorporates features like group messaging, voice and video calls, mobile wallets, and ‘Moments’ where users are able to share pictures and looping videos up to ten seconds. WeChat’s broad international user base in China, India, South East Asia, and Latin America offers publishers and marketers a great opportunity to expand business abroad. Several pioneers like Huffington Post, Vogue China, Buzzfeed, Vice, and BBC News India have started their subscriptions channels already, and more publishers are expected to come onboard as the video platform expands into the Western market.
In 2015, Pinterest started adding buy buttons to pins – and within a year, 55% of people were using the platform to shop (43% higher than any other social networks). Pinterest quickly responded to their newly discovered market niche by launching a mobile video ad platform for marketers and publishers. Promoted Videos provide brands with a unique opportunity to not only reach consumers, but reach them where they go to shop, where they’ve already shown interest in buying a product, and where it only takes one click of a button to do so.
Sharing the same vision for real-time mobile video with other major social video platforms, Airtime found their own market niche with live group chats. The video platform makes it easy for users to video chat, share gifs, Youtube & Vimeo videos, and Spotify music streams with up to six people at a time.
11. Flipgrid (Vidku)
Vidku was announced to the public in 2015 as a video messaging app for private groups. Unable to compete in the congested (and Snapchat-ruled) market, Vidku recently shifted gears and merged with its flagship educational video platform Flipgrid. The newly revamped Flipgrid video platform will allow educational users and businesses to leverage video to improve corporate learning outcomes.
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