Your Facebook feed is about to a lot more noisier. Facebook has announced some big changes to video on their platform, which will impact how videos play and what they look like on mobile. As a publisher or creator, it’s important to be aware of the updates and how you can benefit from them. From a publisher perspective, changes mean opportunities. If you prepare your content accordingly, it’s a great way to capture new audiences! Facebook made four announcements related to video. These changes include:
- Sound will play by default on videos. This is a complete 180 from its current muted format. Sound will also fade in/out as you scroll towards and past it.
- Vertical video will be larger on mobile – taking up more real estate on your screen.
- Picture in picture on mobile – enables you to continue playing video while continuing to scroll through your feed.
- A Facebook Video App for TV is coming soon.
While the latter three announcements elicited little reaction, that first one is major. Immediately, many media outlet shared the news with details on how to turn autoplay audio off. But Facebook sees value in making the change – they’ve been testing it since last summer. So while the reaction is understandable, the fact is it’s going to be here to stay. If you’re a publisher, your reaction should be curiosity on how you can use this change to your advantage.
As a publisher, this change is a major shift and should impact how you create and post video on Facebook. Currently, video that performs best has been the kind that did not need sound. Look at the list of Facebook’s top publishers in January, and then look at their content. UNILAD, LAD Bible, Viral Thread and others share visual story content. Whether it’s a Dog Terrified of a Puppy or Dad Level 9000, successful video gets attention from title and visuals. Sound is optional, and while it may add to the experience – it did nothing to attract a viewer.
This change flips the script, and now sound matters. As a publisher or a creator, you now three opportunities to get a viewer’s attention. You can engage them with a good title, with great story content, and with engaging audio.
To find the real key to unlocking this opportunity, we need to look at the second part of the audio change. Sound will fade in and out as you scroll towards and past it. The closer you get to the video in your feed, the louder the sound is going to get, and quieter as you scroll away. While Facebook hasn’t said it explicitly, the ‘living’ way that audio will fade lends itself to music. Fade in and fade outs have always been a way that music fits organically within a video. Now, that effect will help to draw viewers to your videos.
As you’re creating video for Facebook, you are going to want to consider the first 2-3 seconds of sound. That’s about how long a user will ‘hear’ your video autoplay before they go by it. Consider how music affects us, and what it can do for your video. In seconds, a recognizable tune can trigger a memory and intrigue, while a beat may excite and pull them in. Now more than ever, music matters on Facebook video!
Let’s consider those two videos mentioned above. Playing either of them with sound adds nothing. In both cases, the sound is almost non-existent, so adding ANY music to the scene immediately makes each more engaging. Selecting the right track will only improve the experience, and enable a new pull for a potential audience. To do it right, first watch your video without sound – does it tell the story? On its own, is this video good enough to watch silently? If so, now consider sound. What kind of music will make this video better? Are the first few seconds enough to intrigue you without seeing the video? Once you have a finished video that satisfies both, you’re ready to publish! Epidemic Sound has a library of tens of thousands of songs, perfect to capture the mood of your video. Being able to sort by genre, mood, movement and place – you will find music that helps get eyes on your videos. Take these new Facebook video changes, and use them to your full advantage!