Facebook Releases Updated Video Player API Enabling Impressive Custom Overlays
Hey, have you heard that video on Facebook is huge? If you haven't, where have you been? Either way, you have now - in the last 12 months, Facebook's seen a 94% increase in the number of videos posted, per person, in the US, with 50% of Americans who use Facebook on a daily basis watching at least one video on the platform, every day. In fact, Facebook's now serving 8 billion video views every 24 hours - up from the 4 billion they were seeing just seven months ago. Add to this the fact that online video is the fastest growing ad category in the world and it's pretty clear, video is massive, video is important, and it's playing a bigger and bigger role in the wider Facebook experience - Mark Zuckerberg himself has said that he expects the platform to be mostly video in five years.
So now that we've got that clear, how can your brand tap into this rising trend and best utilize Facebook video to spread your brand message? While there's a heap of options and tools on this front, a new one, released today, just might get you thinking about Facebook video in a whole new way.
Upgraded Video Embedding
In a new post on the Facebook Developer Blog, Facebook engineering team member Lucas Cheon has outlined their new embedded video player API. Adding to the functionality of Facebook's embedable video player, which was introduced back in March, the new API provides capacity to utilize a range of new features in your Facebook video embeds in order to control how they display on your website, including.
- Autoplay (With or Without Sound)
- Volume Control
- Player Controls
- Event & Error Handling
- Custom Buttons & Thumbnails
All these additional functions enable website owners to better customize their visitor experience with Facebook video embeds. But it's that last point, 'Custom Buttons & Thumbnails', that may provide the most interesting opportunities.
They look pretty impressive, right? Here's how the Selena Gomez one actually functions in a live environment.
As you can see, the video features links to concert tickets, social sharing buttons for Facebook and Instagram, and a way for fans to subscribe to the Selena Gomez email list, all direct from the video stream. Those are some impressive additions - and while creating your own, customized video by using the new API takes a bit of technical work and knowledge, the results, as highlighted, can be very engaging.
Improved oEmbed Functionality
In addition to the new video embed API, Facebook's also announced that they've improved their oEmbed capacity, making it easier to embed public articles, videos, and other posts from Facebook on your site by 'simply copying and pasting a URL'.
"Starting today, you can build oEmbed support for your CMS - for implementation details, please read our oEmbed documentation. Once your CMS supports oEmbed for Facebook, you and your clients can embed Facebook posts and videos quickly, with no need for screenshots or code changes."
The changes will better facilitate sharing of Facebook content off Facebook - and the more The Social Network can improve such capacity, the wider reaching the influence of the platform will become.
The changes to both embedded video and oEmbed go into effect today - for more info, check out the official blog post with links to the relevant technical documentation for both updates.
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