Facebook releases video auto-play feature, marketers rejoice

This week, many Facebook users got a notification that the social media giant has started rolling out auto-playing videos in desktop news feeds. For marketers, this is excellent news.

Video is the next big thing. Rollo Wenlock, CEO of Wipster, told us in 2013 that he thought that over the next few months, everything was going to start to move towards video. He wasn’t wrong. Since then, Instagram released its video feature, Facebook messenger started allowing people to send each other small video messages, and web designers have even started using video instead of static backgrounds. Check out PayPal’s home page as an example.

With auto-playing videos, Facebook has completely changed the social media advertising landscape. The news feed is no longer static. It moves as you scroll down it. I filmed a short example of how Buzzfeed Video is using this feature to capture Facebook users’ attention.

You can bet that social media strategies from hereon will have a heavy focus on video rather than images,  because most effective advertising tells a story. Marketers found out how they could use images to tell a small part of the story, then let words do the rest. That worked relatively well until people got used to it. Videos that auto-play now tell that story without the Facebook user having to do anything other than “like” you on Facebook.

[Tweet “All modern, disruptive brands that are on Facebook should capitalise on the auto-playing video feature.”]

There is huge potential here for all brands that are on Facebook to capitalise on this feature while it is relatively new, fresh, and untainted by poor marketing tactics. Don’t be a follower. Be a leader.

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