2017 has seen another big leap in video consumption and the implications of this ever-increasing demand for content has certainly influenced advancements in consumer technology in the last 12 months.
Technology manufacturers and online social media platforms have both used our increased demand for video content to make their products more desirable by increasing our exposure to video, improving the quality of our own video capture and the viewing experience.
Bigger & better mobile screens
In recent years, smartphone manufacturers have invested a lot of resources into fitting as much screen real estate on their devices as possible as an acknowledgement that we use our phones as much for media consumption as anything else. Alongside this is the battle of the pixels where manufacturers compete to produce the best screen resolution for users knowing it will be a key determiner for purchasers – even if the naked eye struggles to recognise the difference between the best screens.
With bigger screens come bigger devices and IDC have forecast that phones below 5 inches will begin to decline leading up to 2021 whilst 5 inch to 6 inch phones, with inherently bigger screens, will see a marked increase. *TechCrunch
Native video and autoplay on social media
Video can be far more engaging than text or even images - social media platforms are well aware of this and have worked hard in the last 12 months to improve and increase the video experiences for their users. In the majority of cases across both Facebook & Twitter, for example, videos in the news feed will autoplay – a feature that really exploits our desire and captivation for moving images. It’s a factor that has contributed to 500 million people watching video on Facebook every day. *TubularInsights
Even LinkedIn who, to the wishes of the majority of its users, tries to separate itself as a business networking tool rather than an entertainment-driven social space has now succumbed to the demand for video. They now also provide native video playback in its users’ news feed.
4k mobile capture as standard
Back to smartphones. Remember when smartphones essentially wiped out the casual-use small camera market through introduction of spec-matching cameras of their own? Well, recent advancements from smartphone device manufacturers desperate to provide new features to promote new purchases have seen the development of built-in video cameras with 4k capture. One reason why smartphones are able to produce better video capture than standalone cameras is through CPU power – our handheld cameras are unable to match the incredible power of modern smartphones. *PetaPixel
Live broadcasting goes mainstream within social media
While video has been developing within social media for a number of years notably through YouTube, live content has only in the last year become a mainstream, and now expected, feature within content-rich social platforms outside of YouTube such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Social media has for the last few years become the main news and information platform for many of us and live streaming enables instant video updates – something users have begun to crave with 80% of us preferring live video from a brand or organisation to social posts. *Salesforce
In 2017, Facebook became the most popular live streaming social media platform - slightly surpassing YouTube.
Social media ‘stories’ are the new status updates. We’re all vloggers now.
Since YouTube launched over 20 years ago, it has absolutely dominated as the social video sharing platform of choice, enabling ‘vloggers’ to generate huge fanbases through very regular video updates. Ever since, Facebook has been trying to provide a compelling enough alternative for its users to share and engage with video content through some of the advancements listed above that have now come to fruition.
Through inspiration from newly formed platforms such as Snapchat, it has developed a video diary type offering called Stories that allows users to share collections of video clips in a timeline for their followers to view. Essentially, providing an alternative to traditional text updates that makes use of the quality of video produced through our smartphones. As of November 1, 2017, Facebook stories has 300 million daily active users—that’s up from 250 million active users in June. *Social Media Today
Looking forward to 2018, it will be interesting to see how consumer video technology further develops as it has a profound impact on video consumption, what we as consumers expect from video and, latterly, can shape the landscape in which businesses communicate both internally and externally.