Facebook is considered one of the major drivers for the rapid growth of moving images. A new study from Germany published at the end of November turns this trend on its head. It shows clear indicators that the triumph of video in social media must be seriously questioned .
What’s at issue? The German online industry service Meedia has examined more than 1,500 Facebook pages in Germany. This is based on raw data from the social media tool Crowdtangle, a social media tracking tool owned by Facebook. The comprehensive analysis focused on the largest German-speaking media.
The result of the study is astonishing.
- For a long time in Germany, videos on YouTube were a guarantee for interaction and news.
- A new study now shows a downward spiral. Within twelve months, the number of hits on Facebook plummeted by 63.7%.
- As always, there are not only losers but also winners. According to the study, these are media companies that have mostly used photos as illustrations or graphics on Facebook.
Massive changes for video views on Facebook
Like all other global social media platforms, the number of videos on Facebook has exploded. This has been accompanied by a gigantic growth in views and interactions. While social videos were initially a hype, they became a mega-trend.
Those who did not communicate with videos were lost. This trend was also reflected in the algorithms of Facebook. They were used to display videos preferably in the user’s timeline. This set an upward spiral in motion for media houses as well as companies. Video teams were hired or immediately set up internally.
And now this!
The figures from November 2019 show a completely different picture: the video swirl seems to be over on Facebook!
From an incredible 1.81 billion views in October 2017, only 655.6 million views remain one year later. According to the study, video views on Facebook have dropped by a painful 63.7%. And this within 12 months!
Admittedly, the figures are still unimaginably high for the average person. But this trend, which only knows one direction, downwards, should still give you food for thought.
Collapsed interactions for videos on Facebook
Interactions are a reaction of the user. They can be a like or a click. Also with the development of the interaction rate (it shows the relationship between interactions and page views), the trend must almost be called a bloodbath:
The number of interactions of Facebook users with videos has also almost halved within three years! The stimulating effect of videos and storytelling has been lost on the social media platform.
The sad truth is: A company in Germany today has 50% less chances with a video than three years ago to generate a like or click on a button or link!
Although the general public is shaping the big picture of this development as users, it still learns surprisingly little about the downward trend of these days. There are at least two possible reasons for this.
- Firstly, Facebook itself, like every company, has no interest in negative reports.
- Second, the media houses and trade journals that traditionally informed their readers about such developments have invested millions in video, believing that they could replace text with video. Here too, it is therefore preferable to observe further developments first, before making one’s own shareholders feel insecure.
This does not mean that one does not react to the rapid decline in the media industry: already in October 2018, media houses uploaded 25% fewer social videos on Facebook than in the previous year. This means that the level of 2016 has been reached again. But only with regard to the number of videos. The chances of a video being viewed (views) have halved per video compared to 2 years ago.
Beneficiaries and consequences
What if the instrument video on social media no longer “works” as it used to? Like everywhere else, there are always winners and losers in a trend. The current beneficiaries from the negative trend of social video are all posts with photos on Facebook. Their interaction rate is now higher than that of videos and links.
Those media houses that were able to increase their values between 2017 and 2018 according to the study have mostly relied on photos, illustrations and graphics.
If you yourself regularly consume social videos, whether on the way to work or for professional reasons, even without numbers and statistics, and without Facebook, you can identify a possible cause for the development described in this article:
- Photos show the user what he is getting into in a fraction of a second. The information can be captured immediately. In the majority of all videos, however, the user remains unclear for a long period of time whether the content is worth the investment of a lifetime.
- The users have not only grown up on Facebook. They have learned to avoid bad experiences on the web on a large scale.
- Conversely, too many video providers, mostly for cost reasons, have for far too long flooded the social media with low-quality moving images.
- Video producers must therefore no longer blindly rely on social media when pursuing a growth strategy (which today is in fact often more of a sales reduction strategy).
- The opinion of commissioned productions expressed in Filmpuls’ survey on trends for 2019 that the concert of possibilities will be expanded by social media is certainly correct. Nevertheless, it is important to keep a sharp eye on the development of these channels.
One can be curious where the journey will lead!
Die Analyse im Detail
The complete, detailed analysis of the new trend in Germany on Facebook is available here at Meedia free of charge.