Now that Facebook has effectively dominated video sharing within the platform, they have added a new feature to help users enjoy a video without interrupting their scrolling.
This floating video feature allows users to detach the video from the player so it “floats”.
Users can drag it anywhere within the browser window. By doing this, a user can watch the video and continue scrolling through the News Feed without interruption.
The first thing that came to mind when I read this news was how Facebook floating video will make branding more effective, especially for certain verticals. Let’s consider music artists for example:
Since the point of uploading a video is to utilize both a visual and audio component, when a Facebook user clicks play and then scrolls down, the artist’s exposure decreases considerably because the visual component disappears. Now, fans can pop-out the video and keep watching while they simultaneously scroll the News Feed.
You can see the positive impact this will have for all brands in the long run. Even if it’s in the users’ periphery, watching the video (vs. only listening to it) is much more desirable from a marketing perspective.
There are a few drawbacks – users cannot drag the floating video outside of the browser. It will also stop playing if you leave the News Feed. Right now, the floating video cannot be resized; and this feature only works on desktop. Since over half of Facebook’s users are accessing the platform via mobile, I eventually expect to see a mobile-friendly version of this feature.
Since Facebook began testing embedded videos about a year ago, and officially released the option to users this March, they have seen exponential growth. Brands have embraced this feature as shown below:
The floating video feature isn’t visible to everyone yet, but when it becomes mainstream, I expect to see more individual users opting for embedded video vs. the old standard of a YouTube share.
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