THE BATTLE FOR SOCIAL VIDEO DOMINANCE
There it was sitting at the helm of the video kingdom without a challenger in sight. Basking in its glory, Youtube was the go-to digital video platform for the masses. But like all empires, an uprising is always brewing to dethrone the emperor. This particular uprising has merit as it is being led by a giant from another kingdom.
In mid 2015 Facebook fired its first arrow and started encouraging users to upload videos directly on its platform vs linking out to Youtube. It made the user experience of watching a Youtube video on Facebook cumbersome and allowed brands to achieve more cost effffffective engagements by uploading their video directly on the platform. It also started offffffering users functionalities similar to those of Youtube such as disallowing embedding and introducing categories. Was this a sign of war looming in the social video kingdom?
It was. The fire was fueled with the arrival of Snapchat, which was slowly creeping its way into the video kingdom. Facebook asked Snapchat to swear allegiance in 2013 as it was kidnapping the youth but Snapchat refused. In May 2014 Snapchat released Stories and Facebook was ready to go to war with its Slingshot, which ended up being sacrificed in December 2015 after proving to be unsuccessful.
Snapchat was still growing its army and in January 2016 it claimed that around 10 billion videos were sent every day by its users. Facebook needed to manage this uprising so in August 2016 it reinforced its Instagram battalion with a new weapon: Instagram Stories which has the same offffffering as Snapchat. Although it’s still early in the battle, it looks like Instagram Stories has what it takes to curtail Snapchat’s advances. To make life more difficult, Facebook formed a new battalion called Lifestage to flank Snapchat. Lifestage is a newly launched standalone service from Facebook that allows people in school to build a profile made up entirely of video fields. The stage is set for a bloody battle.
Let’s not forget Twitter who has been
Michael has over 17 years of experience in brand management and communication for leading multinational blue chip organizations across MENA. He is currently the Managing Partner at Netizency.