Content Marketing Blog

Facebook videos should get to the point in 3 seconds and do it without sound

Your Facebook videos have just three seconds to grab the attention of your target audience and they’re increasingly likely to be viewed without sound, the company said this week.

An update on the Facebook For Business blog cited research that showed 43 per cent of the value of a video campaign was delivered within the first 3 seconds and that 74 per cent of value was delivered in the first ten seconds.

Furthermore, due to the preference of mobile users for videos that play with no sound, it’s now very likely that your next video campaign will be muted when most people see it.

Facebook said its users viewed 100 million hours of video every day and an increasingly large share of that eyeball time would now be on a mobile device.

Mobile users start to dominate video views

Almost one billion people (934 million) accessed Facebook on a mobile device daily during the final three months of last year, according to the company’s most recent financial results.

According to Facebook’s internal research, up to 80 per cent of mobile users feel negatively towards both the brand and platform if a video ad played loudly when they weren’t expecting it.

“In mobile-feed environments, people prefer having the choice to opt in to sound,” Facebook said. “Advertisers should take this into account when creating video ads, making sure their stories don’t require sound to communicate their message.”

This can make life tough for brands hoping to tap into Facebook’s vast audience with some great video content.

The good news is that for those videos that make the grade Facebook has some impressive stats. Users can recall newsfeed videos even if they’ve only seen them for a quarter of a second.

Social media sites like Facebook pride themselves on responding quickly to the habits and demands of their users, which puts pressure on content creators to follow suit.

On YouTube, for example, the option to skip ads after 5 seconds gives brands a short window to win viewers over and convince them to keep watching. If Facebook’s stats hold true, most of the value of your video would have been delivered by then anyway.

Facebook versus video creators

But while Facebook’s huge reach makes it a vital platform for promoting video, the social network has been criticised for not doing enough to protect original, creative video work.

Facebook’s native video player often leads to users uploading third party videos rather than just sharing links to them.

What this means that views, likes and shares don’t have any direct benefit for the video’s owner, aside from more people seeing it.

In November last year a German creative agency called Kurzgesagt posted a hugely popular video on YouTube accusing Facebook of “stealing” video views.

The lesson here for content marketers is social media updates, just like blog posts, should always reference original, copyright material in a way that’s fair to whoever created it.

In the case of videos you want to share with your audience, you should always link to the original rather than use it to create your own like-bait post.

While individuals who misuse copyright material on Facebook might just get a slap on the wrist the stakes are much higher for well-known and recognisable brands.

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Adam Barber
Adam Barber About the author

Adam is one of Castleford's founders and remains actively involved in the day-to-day running of the business. He started out as a writer and still contributes regularly to our blog, covering SEO, CRO, social media and digital strategy.

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