Why Social Networks and Marketers are Flocking to Native Video

Native video enables social networks to control the user experience and allows brands to connect with consumers in a more engaging medium.

Video is taking over the Internet. Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have disrupted the cable industry business model. And until recently, people could share video from external sites on social media channels. But now social networks are adopting native video.

The objective: to contain the user experience. Twitter launched its video product earlier this year, and while Facebook auto-play videos seemed like a bad idea for users, video on Facebook was a boon for brand awareness. Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel pitched his own native video product recently, and even Pinterest is getting in on the action with Cinematic Pins.

Video already makes up 78 percent of Internet data, and it is set to increase to 84 percent by 2018, according to Cisco Systems. By 2019, video is projected to account for 80 percent of all global consumer Internet traffic.

Indeed, the demand for video has increased, and according to Visual.ly CEO Matt Cooper, there’s been a significant increase in demand for native video in the last six months. The bottom line is that video is just more effective, he said.

Cooper likened native video to the closed Apple system vs. the open Android system. The primary benefit of the closed system is that it provides a better user experience. He added:

Apple’s big push was always, “Because we control the hardware and the software, we can create a much better user experience.” The same rationale applies here for native video.

When video lives outside the network, it creates friction between the user and the content. In addition to reducing the barriers to content, native video enables social networks to collect more detailed data on their users.

Cooper said marketers looking to take advantage of the rise of native video need to keep their videos short and develop campaigns that weave stories together across channels. He used a recent campaign from Morton Salt, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Morton Salt girl, as an example. Instead of depending on the 90-second video, Morton created companion content. He added:

They had Vines, infographics, static visuals … they were using different types of content, in different formats, and different channels to pull everybody back to the tent-pole.

The big challenge for smaller advertisers is that most don’t have in-house video capability like they do for static visuals. Video can be expensive, and Cooper doesn’t think the same freelancer model will apply to video as it has with other mediums. These are precisely the questions he thinks marketers will have to answer as video continues to explode.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.