Aldo Agostinelli

youtubeNo matter where you look online, you’ll spot a video. Whether it be company’s Twitter advert, online news articles or your Facebook newsfeed, video content is saturating the web. So is there still room for online video to grow?

As online video continues to grow in popularity, more and more social media platforms are prioritising it. YouTube, of course, has always been dedicated to video. Facebook have recently announced they plan to become a video-first platform too. On top of this, Pinterest have just released video advertising options.

However, in the past week, the biggest news comes from Twitter. The platform has started sharing ad revenue with video creators, with content creators reportedly taking home 70% of the revenue: 15% higher than the rates given to content creators on YouTube.

This strikes me as a move to attract video creators to the platform, encouraging them to favour it over the likes of YouTube and Facebook. Twitter have been rapidly adding features that will help support their move towards video, such as their integration of Periscope, a livestreaming app. However, it seems Facebook remain in the lead in this respect. True, Twitter may have been ahead of the game with Periscope, but Facebook Live is growing in popularity fast. Facebook has become the livestreaming platform of choice, thanks in no small part to Facebook prioritising Facebook Live in their user’s newsfeeds, which has attracted reach-hungry publishers to the platform.

Another company attempting to match (or copy?) their competitors is Instagram. Their newest feature, ‘Instagram Stories’, is incredibly similar to Snapchat’s premise. Of course, the similarity is far from a coincidence. But will it kill off Snapchat? So far it looks as though it’s off to a strong start in terms of user engagement – the Instagram community has taken to the app’s new feature in droves -but data suggests there has been no decline in Snapchat’s user base since the update.

It’s not just social platforms that are upping their video game: tech companies are getting involved too. Even Apple are taking strides to offer customers more control over the videos they create: they are working on a built-in app that allows users to create a video, apply filters and draw on them before sharing them.

There seem to be a lot of Snapchat-like features in Apple’s iPhone updates, but Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research, claims Apple are just trying “to capture more of the time users spend on Apple devices in its own apps rather than third-party apps. .. It’s the same strategy that has seen Apple launch News and Music in recent years too.” Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, puts it best; “like Microsoft found with search, once people are happy with another platform it is really hard to get them to switch, even if you are the OS owner.” As any digital marketer will know, once users decide which platform they want to use, it will take a long time, or a great USP, to get them to switch.

It’s clear that the social video-sharing market is not only getting crowded, but competitive too, so it will be interesting to see who comes out on top. The likes of YouTube and Instagram democratised video creation and the consumer’s love of video doesn’t seem to be fading. Do you think it’s possible for a new video creation tool, or a new video-sharing platform, to succeed in such a crowded space? The possibility is always there… but, in my option, it will take a big incentive to change people’s preferences.

Which platforms do you use to create and share video content? Leave a comment or get in touch on Twitter (@AgostinelliAldo) and share your thoughts.

This blog is also available in Italian.

Aldo Agostinelli