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Facebook Tests Dedicated Video Channel To Increase Competition With YouTube | DrivingSales News

Facebook Tests Dedicated Video Channel To Increase Competition With YouTube

October 14, 2015 0 Comments

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Facebook has now announced it’s testing a dedicated video channel, thereby ramping up its growing competition with YouTube for viewers’ time and advertisers’ spending. Facebook explained the channel would appear as a tab on users’ home pages, where they could choose to save videos that have appeared in their News Feed. The social network will also include recommended videos based on other videos that a user has watched, as well as videos posted by friends, companies and celebrities that they follow. This all sounds very similar to YouTube, and the announcement marks a big move for the social media giant.

Is Facebook becoming a serious threat to YouTube in the ever-expanding online video ads market?

“Since our update last year, video has continued to grow on Facebook,” wrote Will Cathcart, VP of Product Management, in a blog post. “It has become an integral part of how people around the world discover, watch and share videos they care about every day. Today, we want to provide another update on some of the things we’ve been working on over the past year, along with some of the new features you may see in the coming months.”

The changes are intended to help Facebook compete for more of the approximately $200 billion that companies now spend each year on television ads, according to ZenithOptimedia. The research firm projects that TV ads accounted for 39 percent of global ad spending in 2014.

Over the past five years or so, the online video market has moved to the forefront of advertising. Recently, mobile video viewing has further added to the growth of this segment, primarily due to the widespread adoption of smartphones. Although YouTube remains the clear leader in the online video ad market, Facebook is quickly growing in popularity due to its high level of user engagement, seemingly making it possible to imagine it taking over dominance from YouTube at some point in the future. In July, Facebook said it would begin sharing ad revenue with video creators in an effort to attract more polished content and advertising dollars. The company also unveiled a new feature called Suggested Videos that displays a continuous stream of videos with ads slotted between them.

“We know people enjoy immersive video experiences, but we’re also learning that people want to watch videos in different ways at different times,” wrote Cathcart. “We have been testing a number of new features that give people more flexibility when watching videos, whether you’re watching a video in the News Feed on-the-go or sitting down to enjoy multiple videos back-to-back.”

At this point, the video tab test is only available to a select group of users. Those that are in the test group can access videos on their smartphones by tapping a videos icon at the bottom of the Facebook app or on the Web by selecting the option in the favorites section on the left side of the News Feed.

What does Facebook’s test of its own dedicated video channel mean for auto dealerships?

Facebook is already a serious player in online video ads, and many dealerships are likely already running campaigns on the social media network, as well as on YouTube. Already, these two platforms require different video ad skews in order to make dealers’ campaigns as effective as possible, based on the differences in the user bases and the type of engagement that occurs. Now, with Facebook testing a dedicated video channel, the likelihood that it will gain more of the online video ad market share in the future is high. However, it’s too early to know for sure, as Facebook’s concept is only in the early stages. Will the social media platform’s tests prove successful, thereby leading to a widespread rollout of its dedicated video channel? It will interesting to watch as this story develops further, to see whether or not Facebook’s initiative pays off.

About the Author:

The DrivingSales News team is dedicated to breaking the relevant and the tough stories affecting car dealers. Have questions for DrivingSales News? Reach the team at news@drivingsales.com.

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