Facebook Video Plays Up 785% Year-over-year, Over-inflated Due to Auto-play?

Facebook Video Plays Up 785% Year-over-year, Over-inflated Due to Auto-play?

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Adobe recently published the Q1 2014 Social Intelligence Report, taking a look at a wide range of social engagement, interaction and ad factors like cost, sharing, and the efficacy of one format over another. It’s all compared to the same quarter in the previous year to give us an idea of what the trends look like for social engagement and advertising. Let’s focus on Facebook and the impact of video on that site.

Facebook Video Engagement & Sharing

Video posts on Facebook led the charge this past quarter with a 25% jump in engagement going from 2.4% to 3%. It was the only format to gain Q1 2014 vs. Q1 2013. Everything else dropped off. Image went from 5% to 4.4% meaning that sometime this year video could have the highest engagement of any post type on Facebook.

Text only posts? Fugedabadit. They had a lowly 0.6% engagement level. Clearly not the way to be marketing anything to anyone you’s guys.

However, on the sharing scale, video posts are way, way behind images. While image posts did drop 2% to 63% total, it’s still more than 5x higher than video at 12% (up 4% from last year).

Links saw some amazing growth of 77% year-over-year and 167% compared to Q1 2013 putting it slightly ahead of video at 16%. Meanwhile, text-based post sharing declined below video to just 9%.video engagement and sharing on Facebook

The types of engagement are also quite interesting. Liking something has become the dominant social engagement of late. It’s quick, easy and shows that you read/viewed something and appreciated it. Shares and comments are still quite low, but both are growing whereas liking is in decline. Likes were down 4% quarter-over-quarter while comments and shares were each up 2%.

Massive Video Play Growth

Last year Facebook implemented its video advertising solution. Part of that solution is auto play of video ads in the news feed. Not just video ads but videos in general can and will automatically begin playing in your news feed based on your personal settings.

This has meant massive growth in video plays with 785% growth year-over-year and 134% growth quarter-over-quarter. That doesn’t mean people are watching those videos and most certainly not to completion. It basically means that the video play metric is nearly pointless at Facebook, especially for ads. Just because it’s playing, doesn’t mean they are watching.

facebook video plays

Pretty steep, too steep to be completely legitimate. As they fill ad inventory and continue to ramp up their video ad program this will continue to grow (see our post about shutting off autoplay video on Facebook).

Apparently, Friday is the day to hit people with your new video content on Facebook.

According to the Adobe report engagement is slightly higher, impressions are higher and plays jump up. Again, plays could just be more people checking Facebook more often since it’s Friday and they don’t want to give 100% of their attention to work or school. The engagement and impressions sort of bolster that hypothesis.

While much of the week sees 3% engagement for video posts, Thursday jumps to 3.2% and Friday tops out with 3.3% even beating out the weekend and 3.1% and 3% for each of the two days. The same goes for share of post impression where it hovers between 13.4% and 14.5% for the days that aren’t Friday when it is 15.7%.

video play friday on Facebook

In fact, nearly one-quarter of all video plays are on Fridays on Facebook.

Friday is also the day of most likes, comments and shares across all content with 16% of the first, 17% of the second and 16% of the last. Meanwhile, Sunday is the worst for comments, Saturday for shares and Tuesday for likes.

Clearly, if Facebook video is part of your marketing campaign, you should be posting that content on Fridays to get the most attention in the form of views, likes, shares and comments.


Straight from the Adobe report itself:

This report is based on consumer data from Adobe Social, Adobe Media Optimizer, and Adobe Analytics to brand sites during 2013 and 2014. It is comprised of aggregated and anonymous data from Retail, Media and Entertainment, and Travel websites. Ad data does not include retargeted ads on social media channels.
Sample information includes:

• 260 billion Facebook ad impressions
• 226 billion Facebook post impressions
• 17 billion referred visits from social sites

There is a whole lot more data in the Adobe Q1 2014 Social Intelligence Report including ad costs, social referrals, Super Bowl and Oscar buzz analysis and more.


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