With streaming content consumption soaring during the COVID-19 lockdowns, YouTube is seeing some major shifts in viewing behavior, and it’s now looking to provide new ad options to help marketers tap into these evolving consumption trends.
Even before the lockdowns, connected TV viewers were YouTube’s fastest-growing audience segment, as people become more accustomed to watching online content on their big screens. But now, with people seeking more entertainment options while confined to their houses, YouTube’s TV-connected viewing has gone through the roof:
Of course, that’s largely to be expected – people arent watching on their phones as much because they’re at home anyway, and can view the same content on a bigger screen. But such trends do inform behavioral shifts, and even once the lockdowns are over, you can expect to see more people viewing YouTube content on their TV sets.
To help marketers tap into this, YouTube is adding two new options for TV-connected audiences.
First, YouTube’s fast-tracking the launch of its Brand Lift for YouTube on TV screens option, which will enable advertisers to survey users on their responses to YouTube ads on their TV sets.
As per YouTube:
“For viewers, this means surveys are now optimized for the big screen and interactivity with a TV remote, so people can easily respond or skip the survey.”
The option will provide another way for marketers to glean feedback from YouTube viewers in order to optimize their campaigns.
In addition, YouTube says that it’s also adding skippable ads for content that’s casted onto the TV screen – which is a little unclear, given that you can already skip ads in content you view on-screen. The option will likely look to cater to more TV control devices and remotes, in order to help more users skip through ads they’re not interested in.
While mobile viewership is on the rise, in all forms, the home TV remains the key source of home entertainment, with our lounge rooms formatted around the main, communal viewing device. That means that YouTube, Amazon and any other digital provider needs to make home TV casting a priority, and the current lockdowns are providing ample opportunity for these platforms to showcase their offerings, which, as noted, could lead to new shifts in digital video consumption.
That will also provide new opportunities for advertisers.
These latest options from YouTube are relatively minor in the larger scheme, but the capacity to target TV-style ad campaigns to specific audiences is hugely valuable, and becoming more so as audience viewing figures continue to rise.
Meta Launches New Reels Features, Including Stories to Reels Conversion and Improved Analytics
As it works to latch onto the short-form video trend, and negate the rising influence of TikTok, Meta has announced some new updates for Reels, across both Facebook and Instagram, including additional Reels insights, the expansion of the ‘Add Yours’ sticker, and ‘auto-created’ Reels clips. Yes, automatically created Reels videos.
Here’s how the new additions work.
The main addition is the expansion of the ‘Add Yours’ sticker from Stories to Reels, providing another way to prompt engagement from other users via Reels clips.
As you can see in these example images, you’ll now be able to post ‘Add Yours’ questions via Reels clips, while you’ll also be able to view all the various video responses to any prompt in each app.
It could be another way to spark engagement, and lean into the more interactive ethos of the short form video trend. Part of the appeal of TikTok is that it invites people in, with the participatory nature of the app essentially expanding meme engagement, by making it more accessible for users to add their own take.
Meta will be hoping that the ‘Add Yours’ sticker helps to facilitate the same, prompting more engagement with Reels clips.
Next up is auto-created Facebook Reels, which, as it sounds, will enable users to automatically convert their archived Stories into Reels clips.
As you can see here, you’ll soon see a new ‘Create from Your Story Archive’ prompt in the Reels creation flow, which will then enable you to convert your Stories into Reels clips.
So it’s not exactly wholly automated Reels creation, as it’s just flipping your Stories clips into Reels as well. But it could provide another, simple way for users and brands to create Stories content, utilizing the video assets that they already have to link into the trend.
Worth noting that Meta also recently added a tool to convert your video assets into Reels within Creator Studio.
Meta’s also expanding access to its ‘Stars’ creator donations to Facebook Reels, which is now being opened up to all eligible creators.
Meta initially announced the coming expansion of Stars to Reels back in June, which will provide another critical monetization pathway for Reels creators. Short form video is not as directly monetizable as longer clips, where you can insert pre and mid-roll adds, so add-on elements like this are key to keeping creators posting, and fueling an ecosystem for such in its apps.
Stars on Reels will be available all creators that have maintained at least 1,000 followers over the last 60 days.
Meta’s also adding new Reels performance insights to Creator Studio, including Reach, Minutes Viewed, and Average Watch Time.
That’ll provide more perspective on what’s working, and what’s not, to help optimize your Reels approach – which could be especially valuable in the coming holiday push.
Lastly, Meta’s also expanding some Reels features that were previously only available in Instagram to Facebook as well.
Crossposting from Instagram to Facebook is now available to all Instagram users, while Meta’s also expanding its Remix option to Facebook Reels also.
As noted, Reels has become a key focus for Meta, as the short-form video trend continues to gain traction, and TikTok continues to rise as a potential competitor. By replicating TikTok’s main elements, Meta’s working to negate its key differentiation, which could ensure that more of its users don’t bother downloading a new app, and just stick with its platforms instead.’
Which, whether you agree with that approach or not, has proven effective. Reels content now makes up more than 20% of the time that people spend on Instagram, while video content, overall, makes up 50% of the time that people spend on Facebook.
Meta additionally notes that it’s seen a more than 30% increase in engagement time with Reels across both Facebook and Instagram.
Meta doesn’t need to ‘beat’ TikTok as such (as much as it would like to), but it does need to dilute its significance if it can, and make it less appealing for users to have to start yet another new account, and re-build their friends list.
That’s why it’ll continue to replicate TikTok at every turn, because millions of people are currently not going to TikTok because of the presence of Reels in its apps.
You can learn more about Meta’s new Reels updates here.
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