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OPLIN 4Cast #617: If your library is still focused on video content, time to re-think

Posted in 4cast, and Facebook

“You’ve got to be doing video. That’s all Facebook is going to be, very soon. Even their algorithms are going to start promoting video content over other types. Better get on it ASAP!”

Those are my words to libraries, probably back around 2015 or so. The sentiment was based on Facebook’s highly-publicized efforts to move content creators primarily to video formats.  As it turned out, not only was I wrong, but Facebook’s alleged “pivot to video” effort never truly materialized…and then, it inflated and misrepresented statistics that videos were accumulating (and is now being sued for it). What has resulted is a major, chaotic mess that is likely going to take a long time to straighten out. Meanwhile, some companies are abandoning Facebook video entirely. If your library is still strongly focused on video content for Facebook, it’s time to re-evaluate.

    • How Facebook’s Chaotic Push Into Video Cost Hundreds of Journalists Their Jobs [The Atlantic] “Even if, as Facebook argues, it did not knowingly inflate metrics, it set up new and fast-changing incentives for video that altered the online ad market as a whole. As media companies desperately tried to do what Facebook wanted, many made the disastrous decision to ‘pivot to video,’ laying off reporters and editors by the dozen. And when views plunged and video’s poor return on investment became more apparent, some companies pivoted back, firing video producers by the dozens.”
    • The perils of Facebook’s pivot to video [Rappler] “This development does not only affect advertisers who bought into the entire pivot to video schtick, but also publishers, content creators, and media outfits who have seamlessly integrated producing social videos into their respective workflows. This pivot was touted by no less than Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself as the harbinger of the ‘new golden age of video.'”
    • Facebook Video Ad Metric Lawsuit Prompts Publishers to Revisit the ‘Pivot to Video’ [Ad Week] “The information prompted a wave of conversation in the publishing industry about the extent to which the metrics, which Facebook first acknowledged were being miscalculated in 2016, influenced publishers’ decisions to throw resources behind social video efforts, often at the cost of their newsrooms.”
    • Why We Abandoned Facebook Video [Social Media Examiner’] “Here’s why we killed two shows and moved a third one over to YouTube. All of our analysis showed that people are NOT watching video on Facebook. Especially if it’s longer than about a minute or two. Why? Facebook is a highway and no one stops to watch video (at least for us.) Instead, they scroll. However, YouTube is where people prefer to watch videos that are longer than a few minutes.”

From the Ohio Web Library: