Future of Video on Facebook

If you think Facebook users watching over 100 million hours of video per day is staggering, Mark Zuckerberg has said most of Facebook will be video by 2019.

But what can we expect from Facebook?

From Facebook's acquisitions and events including their developer conference F8 we can piece together a significant part of Facebook's video roadmap going forward. Many of Zuckerberg's recent comments also provide a clearer vision.

New Guidelines for Content

Facebook is implementing major changes towards the review process of their content.  Mostly due to backlash around live video and their newsfeed algorithm. Facebook in response announced plans to hire over 3,000 people to monitor videos for violence and other criminal acts.

As they beef up content review, there’s many ways Facebook could go to put more safeguards on iffy content.

This could include live video on questionable accounts running on a slight delay. Or live video becoming a feature available only for paying advertisers. The latter would certainly stop people shooting vicious acts live on Facebook that has been all over the news.

For the last decade (yes I feel old too) Facebook has been largely neutral to the substance of content posted on their site beyond spam. But, Mark Zuckerberg to an extent has evolved his stance.

In a letter to Facebook users Zuckerberg stated, “The two most discussed concerns this past year were about diversity of viewpoints we see (filter bubbles) and accuracy of information (fake news).”

Facebook is already targeting misleading live video content. A recent update bars graphics-only live videos.

From their Live API Policy:

“Don't use the API to publish only images (ex: don't publish static, animated, or looping images), or to live-stream polls associated with unmoving or ambient broadcasts.”

Graphic only videos such as polls currently may appear lower in user's feeds.

With governments around the world slowly reacting to Facebook's influence on society, misleading content is a huge priority. More steps to protect Facebook users against consumer fraud will be coming. The EU has ordered Facebook, Twitter, and other social companies to comply with their rules or face “enforcement action.”

A big part of this comes into play with the growing brand usage of micro-influencers. Last summer, the FTC went after Warner Bros Home Entertainment. Warner Bros. settled after failing to adequately disclose reviews from paid influencers for their game Middle Earth: Shadows of Mordor.

In response, Facebook now requires publishers to self-identify branded content, a paid tag appears above videos and photo..

Is this adequate enough to the FTC and clear to Facebook users though? We will see.

VR's Role in the Future of Facebook

Some people may think VR is clunky and a flash in the pan. Or 360 is a novelty trend like smell-o-vision.

But that's just not the case. Brands are already using it to engage customers successfully. Plus Facebook has tons of money invested via their $2 billion purchase of Oculus.

Facebook recently announced Samsung VR owners can now livestream straight from their mobile headset, so additional features are coming. They may also be looking to go right at Twitch so anyone can livestream and chat to FB friends or fans from an Oculus headset too. Imagine being able to live chat your friends through dictation as you go through a VR experience.

Credit: Oculus' YouTube Channel for the screenshot

Last year at F8 2016 Facebook's CTO showed how users will be able to take a selfie within a 360 video via the headset. Companies will be able to create all sorts of branded 360 and VR content using unique settings and influencers. From trekking first person through the rainforest to selfies with celebrities, the possibilities are endless.

Ultimately creative content will continue to prosper while Facebook must protect its influence. Brands will still be able to create transparent, clever partnerships. There's plenty of great examples out like KFC’s teaming up with World Wrestling Entertainment. Stay tuned to Mark’s timeline and Facebook for Developers page for more new developments.