Social networks are doubling down on video. This summer, Instagram launched IGTV, creating a dedicated hub for long-form video, while Facebook continues to invest in its YouTube challenger, Watch. As various platforms ramp up their video capabilities, it’s clear that social video is only growing in importance. But what platforms will ultimately come out on top, and where should brands be directing their focus when crafting content strategies?
To get some answers about what the future holds for social video, we talked to Mari Smith, the premier Facebook marketing expert and a top social media thought leader, about a few of the tough questions that are on every social media marketer’s mind right now.
Will Facebook ever approach YouTube’s level of discoverability?
According to Smith, Facebook is on a mission “to become the next generation digital streaming television platform” competing with the likes of Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu and encouraging brands to focus on creating episodic content. That being said, she’s doubtful that this big push will successfully help Facebook catch up, believing that YouTube will still reign supreme.
Which offers more potential for marketers: Facebook Watch or IGTV?
Although she’s enthusiastic about Instagram’s new IGTV offering, noting how it beautifully displays vertical video on mobile devices, Smith currently expresses more confidence in Facebook’s heavy investment in Watch as “a destination video streaming platform.”
Will Snapchat ever recover from the growth of Instagram Stories?
After a recent meeting with Snapchat, Smith’s key takeaway was that it’s “evolving to compete,” attempting to broaden its audience, open up its ad platform, and work with businesses to better show what’s possible with Snapchat. Will that be enough? “Still to be determined,” says Smith, but she knows one thing for sure: “go where your audience is, and test, test, test.”
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