Arabnet - The Quarterly - - Digital Media - By Michael Mak­soudian | @mak­soudian

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.

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