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Facebook Publishes New Research into Evolving Video Consumption Habits [Infographic]



While Facebook Watch hasn’t yet become the next big digital video platform, or a YouTube rival, as such, usage of, and interest in, the option has been steadily growing, with several shows building significant audience followings, and bringing more viewers across to Facebook for longer and repeat sessions.

Last year, Facebook reported that Watch is now being used by 720 million people each month, and while the details of that figure are somewhat questionable (the official wording is “720 million people spend at least one minute in Watch each month”), that is still a significant audience, which has also grown further during the COVID-19 lockdowns. 

And this week, Facebook has sought to provide some more insight into exactly what those Watch viewers are looking for, and how brands can connect with them through video ads and content. The stats below come from an October 2019 survey of 3,000 people in the US, who indicated that they view Facebook Watch content at least once a week or more. 

Among the findings:

  • Watch videos see more views in the afternoon/evening, but viewer rates among regulars remain high throughout the day
  • 94% of respondents indicated that they regularly share Watch content
  • 81% of respondents who view Watch content are looking to connect with others who share the same interests

There are some interesting considerations here – you can check out an infographic overview of the findings below, or read Facebook’s full report here.

Facebook Watch insights



Instagram Tests Out New Ad Options, Including Explore Placement and Interactive AR Displays



Instagram Tests Out New Ad Options, Including Explore Placement and Interactive AR Displays

As we head into the holiday shopping push, Instagram has announced that it’s testing out some new ad options, in the hopes of maximizing its revenue intake, while also providing new opportunities for brands.

Though I can’t imagine that these will be entirely popular additions with users.

First off, Instagram’s adding new ads into Explore, with the first page of Explore now set to feature a new ad unit in the content feed.

As you can see in this example, that’s a pretty big ad. Instagram hasn’t clarified if all of these new Explore ads will be featured as prominently as this, but the option will provide another means to reach IG users ‘in the earliest stages of discovering new content they care about’.

It could be a good consideration, with a chance to get your products featured in the main discovery feed in the app.

Instagram’s also testing ads in profile feed – ‘which is the feed experience that people can scroll through after visiting another account’s profile and tapping on a post’.

So now, if you check out someone’s profile, and tap on a post, you’ll also be eligible to be served ads in that dedicated stream of their content, essentially inserting ads into another surface in the app.


Instagram’s also looking into whether this option could also be used as a monetization opportunity for creators, as that activity will be tied back to an individual profile and content.

Instagram’s also testing what it’s calling ‘Multi-Advertiser Ads’, which will display more promotions from similar businesses to users after they’ve engaged with an ad.

Instagram ad updates

As per Instagram:

“When a person expresses commercial intent by engaging with an ad, we deliver more ads from other businesses that may be of interest, powered by machine learning.”

So Instagram’s looking to push even more related businesses at you, stacking ads upon ads. I don’t know how effective that will be, but in theory, it could get your brand in front of interested users based on previous ad engagement.

Finally, Instagram’s also launched an open beta of its AR Ads, which will be available in both feed and Stories in the app.

Instagram ads update

As you can see here, Instagram’s AR ads, built in its Spark AR platform, will invite users to interact with their ad content, which could also include positioning virtual furniture in their home, or test driving a car in the app.

Which Meta also says will help brands align with future engagement shifts:

“By giving businesses tools to create more personalized and immersive experiences today we’ll help them drive performance and prepare for the metaverse.”

I mean, AR and the metaverse, which is largely VR-based (going on the examples we’ve seen thus far) are not the same thing, but the creation of 3D objects will play a part in that next stage, and could help to advance your thinking on ad approaches.


These are some interesting ad considerations, but they’ll also see a lot more promotions being squeezed into your Instagram feeds, which, as noted, likely won’t be welcomed by users.

But with parent company Meta under rising pressure, Instagram has to do its part. And while leaning into further Reels, and forcing in more ads, may not be a great play, long-term, the usage and engagement data will ultimately tell the tale.

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