A black camera with a large lens for photography with the Creative Company in Madison, Wisconsin.

Video. Video. Video.

Did your data plan take a hit when Facebook started auto play last fall? Well, you may have to make some adjustments. Facebook says it’s testing continuous auto play for videos.  According to reports twitter is also trying it out. But we’ll focus on Facebook for now.

At the F8 – Facebook Developer conference late last month there was a lot of discussion about video and the importance of videos on the platform.

Fidji Simo, Director of Product at Facebook says there are three different use cases Facebook has come up with for video.  They’re used to connect, relax and catch up.

For instance users are able to connect with their friends through videos, and get a better sense of what there life is about. Videos can be a conversation starter. Videos are watched to unwind, relax for fun, to de-stress. Others use video to catch up, theres a lot happening in the world and many need to stay up to speed on world and local events.

Many are looking for content that’s relevant to them. They’re not seeking out something specific through Facebook videos, but something that is entertaining.

Online, mobile video is essentially blowing up on Facebook (in case you haven’t noticed). Simo says mobile video will increase 14 fold by 2018.  3 billion videos are watched every day on Facebook. BILLION. Yes, billion with a B. More than 65% of those videos are viewed on a mobile device, and over half of those videos are driven by  re-shares.

Facebook is working to leverage auto play. They know users don’t always want to hear a video pop-up because in many cases users are watching a video when they shouldn’t be.

A few suggestions to helping boost videos include creating entertaining or interesting animations.

Grab a viewers attention within the first few seconds.

Share content that means something and is relevant.

If you’re shooting video from a cell phone don’t shoot vertically, shoot horizontally. (It looks much better)

Also DON’T LINK A YOUTUBE VIDEO TO FACEBOOK – They’re competing sites.

A bit more info about Facebook’s video development – there are new customizable video thumbnails, options for subtitles, and the ability to resume uploading a video if your network hiccups.  Facebook is also rolling out better analytics to help track performance and engagement.

Get moving on those videos folks.

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