For the last several years, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been outspoken about Facebook's impending move towards video.
Even as far back as 2014, Zuckerberg hinted that the site's newest challenges lay in preparing The Social Network for more rich video formats on people's feeds, stating that "in five years time, most of [Facebook] will be video." By the end of 2015, his prediction was proving correct: more than 500 million users are now watching Facebook videos every day with a total of 8 billion videos viewed every 24 hours - up from 4 billion only a year before.
The trend towards video on Facebook is clear - but will The Social Network, as predicted, eventually become more video than text content based?
Here are four stats that suggest it will.
1. Facebook's Numbers: More Consumption
Globally, user-posted videos on Facebook increased by 75% in 2015. In the United States, that jump was even more impressive at 94%. The trend of users producing and posting a more video has been years in the making - Hootsuite reports that the amount of videos shared in the News Feed has increased by 3.6 times year-over-year since 2014.
With such an escalation in video production, and their increased prevalence in people's feeds, it comes as no surprise that 50% of Facebook users in the US now watch at least one video on the platform every day.
And as tools for high-quality mobile video have become readily available, mobile viewing has spiked to account for 65% of all Facebook video views, a huge contribution to Facebook's recent rise in video production and consumption.
It's not only the platform that's encouraging more video use, its consumer demand that's driving the shift.
2. Facebook's Exploration of New Video Formats
Facebook's expansion into new video formats has also played a part in this growth.
Zuckerberg's commitment to virtual reality, most notably through the acquisition of Oculus, is poised to pay dividends when their first home VR devices are released to the market. Indeed, VR users have already watched over 1 million hours of video via the Samsung VR gear alone. The role of virtual and augmented reality technology in Facebook's video efforts is only set to increase as Facebook's social VR team put more focus is on integrating Oculus' technology into Facebook's web platform.
Facebook Live, meanwhile - a live-streaming option that enables people to watch and react to real-time videos - is also set to bear fruit for the company. Facebook;s data shows that viewers spend 3x longer watching live video on Facebook over pre-recorded content, a trend which has prompted Facebook to further emphasize Live by adding new features to the Live mobile app and making Live videos more likely to appear on users' News Feeds.
Facebook's commitment to new video formats is clear, and as users become more accustomed to such options - and their expectations increase as a result - Facebook will be in the box seat to capitalize on that attention.
3. General Trends Towards Video Content
The increase in video consumption on Facebook reflects the general trend across the internet more widely. According to Cisco, video will account for 80% of global internet traffic by 2019, and nearly a million minutes of video will be transmitted every second. YouTubers, who make up almost one-third of all internet users, have increased in number by 40% year-after-year since 2014. In addition, the number of hours YouTubers have spent watching videos has increased by 60% every year since 2014 also.
The popularity of video content is also apparent on Snapchat, where in just a few short months, the number of daily video views on the platform have grown from 8 billion to 10 billion.
Across the board, there's been a rapid, explosive increase in videos being produced and viewed online, and this trend reinforces Facebook's own move towards becoming a primarily video-oriented platform.
4. Major Content Creators Are Moving Towards Video, Too
Marketers, brands, and ad agencies have also taken note of the consumer trend towards video and have also shifted their content focus accordingly.
According to the marketing gurus at Hubspot, putting a video in an email increases the click-through rate by 200-300%. A video for a product also increases users' likelihood of purchasing that product online by 64% due to consumer trust in video ads.
Video has also become indispensable to landing page design where - if well placed and well made, it can increase conversion by 80%.
Because of these statistical boosts, 65% of U.S. marketers now plan to increase their video ad budgets.
With so many content creators, internet users, and social media platforms treating video production and viewing as a focal point for online consumption, Zuckerberg's five year vision of a network dominated by video seems exceedingly likely, if not inevitable.
Worth taking note in your future content planning and marketing efforts.