If I told you that Facebook video has spiked in the last year, would you be surprised?
Probably not, unless you happened to have your head underground like the urban legend on ostriches burying their head in the sand. The reason I think it has is a pretty educated guess, but I can't prove it because it is all encrypted and we can't (and frankly don't want to!) see what the videos are.
In the data period for the Mobile Internet Phenomena Report (January 2019), there was a lot of political activity going on worldwide. Facebook Video was the second largest source of traffic on the mobile internet with 17.54% of all worldwide traffic - a big increase from the ~2% it was last year.
In North America, where a presidential candidate nomination process is in full swing, Facebook Video was 6.81% of all mobile traffic.
In Europe where Brexit activity was occurring in Britain, it was 17.81%. Middle East and Africa, the number was 18.74% and, in APAC, it was 20.29%. Last year, APAC was the highest with about 12% of all mobile traffic, and nothing else was close.
Facebook Video has become a powerful source of advertising impressions, especially in the political arena. With Facebook adding a "Post to Facebook" add-on to Instagram, more video is making its way over to Facebook because of how rich the video sharing is at Instagram – multiplying the video that is used on both platforms as it is not unusual for users to see it in both places, and the Facebook audience is bigger (especially on the political side) and there is far more "resharing" done of content on Facebook than Instagram.
Even YouTube benefits from this – especially from the political side of things – as almost all of those videos shared on Facebook and Instagram (and to be fair, TikTok and through links in messaging apps) are on YouTube as well. This is a great example of the dynamic that we described last year in the Mobile Report on the cloud ecosystem that exists around social networking, that we are calling social sharing. But more on that tomorrow...
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