We’re excited to announce the launch of a brand new type of automated video creation: the Social Video. Our latest addition to the Wibbitz Control Room provides publishers with the ability to automatically produce videos that are optimized for social media and mobile screens. The Social Format features large text overlays, condensed story highlights, and the option to produce square videos in order to maximize performance across social platforms—especially those that enable autoplay.
Rise of the social format
Ever since Facebook introduced autoplay in December of 2013, and billions of video views ensued, it became clear that this new setting would become the standard for video across almost all social platforms. Publishers were faced with the challenge of producing video content that catches a reader’s eye in the first 3 seconds, and keeps them intrigued for the next 30. Since then, video editors have started using a certain formula that we’ve seen replicated across social platforms. This formula (i.e. the three S’s) has resulted in some of the top performing videos for publications ranging from Buzzfeed to CNN.
Why focus on formatting for social
Now that autoplay videos have become an expected feature in a reader’s feed, video editors must walk a fine line between joining the conversation and taking it over. It’s important for a publisher’s videos to be formatted in a way that fits seamlessly on a mobile screen for a native experience, but also stands out in a crowd of content. When publishers focus on adapting content for social media (where video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined), audiences become more receptive to your brand and willing to engage with you in their daily conversation.
Of course, creating this type of seamless and engaging video in addition to a publication’s existing content production is both time and budget draining. With Wibbitz’s Social Format, publishers are able to automatically check off the three key elements that make a top performing video on social media.
Our new format leverages the following best practices to optimize videos for autoplay, social media, and mobile screens:
Short-form videos are the best way to keep social media users engaged, especially those with short lunch breaks and even shorter attention spans. In fact, BuzzFeed found that 75% of their top videos on Facebook were under 1 minute and (spoiler alert) square. Wibbitz already enables quick and simple short-form video production, and the new Social Format takes that one step further by smartly trimming videos to an optimal length for social platforms.
The rise of both mobile and social video consumption (which happens to be directly correlated) has given rise to a brand new UX upgrade: it’s hip to be square. Using a square video template means that viewers no longer have to go through the steps of selecting full screen and rotating their phones just to watch a quick video clip. Square videos spread across a user’s screen to instantly capture their attention, and a recent Newswhip study found that 90% of the most shared videos on Facebook were square-shaped. As the only video platform that can automatically produce videos in a square format, Wibbitz’s partners can easily create automatically shareable content.
3. Silent & Sexy
Using text overlay captions is the tried and true way to tell your story on social media where videos are played automatically on mute. In a recent study conducted by Wibbitz, videos with text overlays generated 3X more engagement than videos with voice overs on Facebook. Stimulating visuals are also essential for social media, and with the exciting transitions and flowing graphics found in our platform’s various Themes, publishers’ videos can successfully cut through the noise of newsfeeds to connect with their audiences.
This new video format has given publishers a reason to embrace autoplay across all platforms, including their own sites. The media industry’s recent changes in content strategy may have been inspired by platforms like Facebook, but as audiences shift to mobile-heavy news consumption and videos optimized for autoplay become the norm, these best practices will work across all types of digital video. Keeping up with these constant changes is a challenge, but automation tools like Wibbitz can help media companies of all sizes stay ahead of the game.