A recent study suggests that a staggering 85% of native Facebook videos are played with the audio turned off.
Native Facebook videos are a relatively new concept, with the website only switching on the platform in early 2015. Since then, video has played a much larger role in users’ timelines, with videos autoplaying by default when scrolling through posts.
Not only this, but Facebook prioritises native videos over posts with outbound links to external sites, and has also recently pushed forward their live video sharing through the site.
All of this combines to make a formidable video platform; one that is evolving constantly. And marketers have rightly taken much more of an interest in the platform since its recent makeovers.
Silent autoplay has a large role to play in the success metrics of Facebook video ads, and successful marketers as always are the ones adapting to the platform. Whereas YouTube’s TrueView system works off a 5 second intro (with audio), Facebook’s viewing figures are taken after just 3 seconds of silent autoplay.
This means that Facebook marketers have had to adjust their videos (particularly the video hooks) to reflect this, and grab the viewer within both a shorter time frame, and through purely their use of visuals. That small window of time is being filled with interesting titles, eye-catching imagery, onscreen captions and brand messages.
Several other big platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr, and more autoplay video silently until the viewer selects otherwise. It presents marketers with an opportunity to use visuals to tell a brand story, and to engage with audiences in a new way.
‘Tasty’ videos like the one below are great examples of popular content that needs no audio throughout the video. This means that viewers can fully engage with the video direct from their timeline and without the need to actively click into the ad. Is the future of native Facebook ads silent?
Most importantly, these findings push brands and publishers to think about how to tell a story that is truly native to each platform. Brands should question what counts as a success on Facebook and other platforms. Know what you’re getting from each site, particularly in terms of metrics. Views, for example, clearly aren’t necessarily the be all end all for measuring a video’s success.
Native Facebook videos will surely be increasingly adopted by brands over time, so finding ways to ‘give the silent treatment’ effectively will maximise viewership and engagement with the ad.
Do you need any help with producing native Facebook content? Get in touch and we’d be happy to offer our advice and support.