Over the past year or so, Facebook's commitment to video has increased hugely, sometimes for the better, sometimes not. For example, the company decided to auto-play videos in your newsfeed as you scroll past them. It does make sense that motion will attract people's eyes, but for many the move was annoying. They have also enhanced their video player to suggest related videos and, in some cases, auto play the next video in line.
These changes have created a scenario where around 500 million users watch some sort of video on Facebook every day. One day last quarter, the network watched 100 million hours of video, meaning every one of those 500 million users watched an average of 10 minutes of video that day. This is a huge development for the company. In response, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said,
We are exploring a dedicated place on Facebook for when they just want to watch videos.
Now, this could be a dedicated Facebook Videos app, similar to how Google implemented Photos. It could also mean a video-specific landing page within the main site, more inline with Pages or Groups. Either way, this move will likely lead to what we have thus far avoided: pre- and post-roll ads on Facebook Videos.
This would not be unexpected, as Facebook's revenue is mostly from advertising and video is a popular medium for advertising. COO Sheryl Sandberg said,
Marketers also really love video and it's a compelling way to reach consumers.
That comment certainly lends credence to the idea that we will see a lot more video advertising inside this new platform, whatever it turns out to be.