Various unsubstantiated Internet reports claim that Facebook uploads 177 million hours of video to their site everyday! If true, that is a serious amount of video! Facebook will not verify the numbers, but it has been suggested that they have almost 3 billion video viewings every day. I have also seen statistics that suggest that Facebooks’s video load has more than doubled in the past 3 years. I would suggest that most of that increase is not necessarily personal communications but ads. I mean many, many ads. How else can you explain the explosive revenue growth of Facebook? It seems that every other post has an ad. OK. I get it. Google and its YouTube product have done the same thing for years. It is one of my least endearing attributes…in that you never know who your video might be placed against: a competitor, an anarchist, some off- the-wall association that counters your own best efforts (and taste). Welcome to social media, 21st Century style. The point is this: video on the web has become a viable way to reach an audience.
This got us thinking not only about the power of the medium, but where does a video production company fit into this world? Most of the personal videos on Facebook, I would suggest, are just photo streams. They are often a single shot of a baby or game or significant moment. No editing. There is power in this strategy. No doubt. Plenty of folks upload these moments every day. It is fast food for the brain.
Our work as producers of video content is somewhat different. Our goal is to engage the brain, to tease the imagination to make the larger world smaller somehow. We do this through editing. We tell stories that respect the time of the viewer by synthesizing the content into a digestible whole. While 90% of our work as a video production company is made for captive audiences, a huge shift has been occurring to the Internet. Video use is increasing. You now face a world-wide audience and one you don’t know and can’t see. One thing is certain, to compete against the streaming photo videos, videos with content need to be short. How short? Well, I had a client who watched a review copy of project we were working on while she was stopped at traffic light. Hmmm. Is that the new gold stand for length? Might be time to start a slow video movement (modeled after the slow food movement). Bring the joy of discovering a well told video story back into our lives.