As a break from my usual ramblings, I’ve taken it upon myself to bring you some real life social media news from the past week. So, here we go. On 16th November Facebook launched their new ‘Creator’ app. ‘Creator’ is an evolution of Facebook’s previous offering of ‘Facebook Mentions’. The premise is the same, Facebook is offering public figures and influencers more in-depth tools to assist with their content creation. However, this time Facebook have gone further with their offerings, providing new features and insights as well as making it available to more users.
What Does It Do?
Stand-out features of the new app include the ability to include intros and outros on live videos, custom filters to be placed on top of live content and the ability to include direct calls to action within the video. These all combine to make Facebook a platform a lot more useful for content creators. Furthermore, the new app is now available to all users with accounts representing individuals. No longer are these bonus tools restricted to big influencers, they can now be accessed by anyone who wants to create their own video content and develop an audience.
Why Are Facebook Bothering?
So why is Facebook doing all this? In the words of Mark Zuckerberg himself, the current aim of Facebook is to facilitate experiences that will constitute ‘time well spent’. As much as Facebook’s delve into the world of video is growing day by day, the criticism often levelled at the platform is that the content it serves up is light with no real depth. Yes, you may spend hours scrolling through various clips from across the internet that are being hosted on Facebook Video, but you are unlikely to avidly follow your favourite vlogger or web series on Facebook, this is where Youtube has control.
Ultimately Facebook want to drive towards their long term aim of removing Youtube from its throne as the number 1 place for video and establish Facebook as the top hub for professional and engaging video content. This has been seen through the recent launch of Facebook Watch as well the confirmation that 47 college basketball games will be aired on the platform. This all points towards Facebook’s desire to attract the top content providers to their platform so it can act as a centre for quality video, both live and pre-recorded. ‘Creator’ is another element of their march towards video supremacy.
Boost For Content Creators
It’s all very well and good talking about the abstract idea of quality video content, but what does all this mean for the people making the videos? These changes are foremost a boost for social influencers. Facebook are offering extra support to influencers by giving them a wider platform to reach their audience and more tools to grow their audience. Although monetising elements are still limited, the updated app signals a social future where the influencer’s role becomes increasingly prominent.
Ok, not all of us are social influencers and don’t make our livings from daily vlogs or web series, but that doesn’t mean Facebook Creator doesn’t affect us. Influencer Marketing is continuing to become one of THE ways to reach your audience. With 47% of online consumers using ad blockers, conventional ads are no longer cutting the mustard. So if you want to reach your target audience effectively, influencer marketing is the way to go. Therefore with Facebook now revealing an app that provides even more opportunities to influencers, digital marketers of the world need to pay attention.
‘Influencer Marketing Is Happening’
The main point that needs to be taken from this is that influencer marketing is happening. Facebook are well and truly behind it now, so if you’re marketing digitally it’s time to switch on. Influencer marketing has been growing for a while but what we are now seeing is a push towards influencers who are creating exciting and engaging video content. This is a trend that we will continue to see going forward.
Secondly, we are now getting a clearer picture of what our news feeds will be filled with over the next few years. Video is still rampantly taking over social, by 2020 it’s predicted that 80% of all internet traffic will be video. But looking even deeper than this, it seems clear that content will be refined and favour professional in-depth content. Whether this be TV style live events or professionally shot series, marketers must adapt to the increased value that is being added to well planned, professionally executed video.
Video Is The Future
Forgetting influencers for a minute, this affects the way social content should be formed. At the moment we are riding through the wave of any video will do. Facebook algorithms continue to favour video content. However, ‘Creator’ and ‘Watch’ signals the official declaration from Facebook that they want their platform to host quality rather than quantity. Going forward, content that we produce as digital marketers should be predominantly video, but video of a high quality containing genuinely engaging content. Soon it won’t be enough just to publish any old video, artistic vision and creativity must lead the way.
Facebook Creator is both a symbol and a director of the way social is heading. The revolution Live and Stories began is leading us ever closer to social content claiming the space that TV once held. Being creative with content, collaborating with influencers and engaging with the audience is the primary way that digital marketers can gain true value from the future of social media content.