“The new A.I., known as Reinforce, was a kind of long-term addiction machine. It was designed to maximize users’ engagement over time by predicting which recommendations would expand their tastes and get them to watch not just one more video but many more.
Reinforce was a huge success. In a talk at an A.I. conference in February, Minmin Chen, a Google Brain researcher, said it was YouTube’s most successful launch in two years. Sitewide views increased by nearly 1 percent, she said — a gain that, at YouTube’s scale, could amount to millions more hours of daily watch time and millions more dollars in advertising revenue per year. She added that the new algorithm was already starting to alter users’ behavior.
“We can really lead the users toward a different state, versus recommending content that is familiar,” Ms. Chen said.”
via “The Making of a YouTube Radical” by Kevin Roose in the New York Times
And true to expectation, that has shown up in the first substantially reported numbers about the traffic to FoxSports.com. SI’s Richard Deitsch reports that traffic dropped an astounding 88% since the “pivot to video.” Their traffic has gone from over 143 million in a monthly period to just under 17 million.
Video is great for engagement (and ad dollars). However, it’s part of an overall approach that still includes text. People are more sensitive than ever to page load speeds and the actual “size” of a web page in terms of mobile data.
Use video, but don’t put all your eggs in that basket.
Facebook’s Video Ads Now Likely Delayed Until Fall | Digital – Advertising Age: “Based on how they were being positioned for the summer launch, video ads will appear to targeted users in their news feeds up to three times on the day they’re slotted and will begin silently playing when a user scrolls over them, according to source who heard Facebook’s pitch.
Audio won’t be activated unless a user clicks on the 15-second ad, at which point it will restart and spread over the right- and left-hand rails of the page. Users can then scroll horizontally in the expanded interface and play up to two additional videos, which could be useful for storytelling for some advertisers.”
Instagram’s (which is owned by Facebook) video feature has done very well for businesses and there’s been lots of talk about video/photo ads coming to Facebook’s Instagram, so it’s only logical that Facebook roll out a (much bigger) advertising feature on its own turf.
Instagram videos are being used by twice as many brands, and more videos are being posted.
Instagram videos are seeing significantly higher (over 2X) engagement than Instagram photos, suggesting brands should focus more time and energy on them.”
Instagram is the older company of the two, so brands were already familiar with the medium prior to its addition of video back in June. On top of that, Instagram gives users 15 seconds rather than Vine’s 6 which enables brands to create longer videos that push out bigger messages.
Instagram has a key advantage over Vine: it also has pictures. Instagram originated as a picture-sharing service which had a huge adoption rate, so it had a strong user base even before it launched video. Vine, on the other hand, originated as a pure video sharing service and had a niche user base which is hard to build on, especially when it comes to trying to get brands to use their platform.
In my own circles, I saw a very quick shift from Vine to Instagram when their video feature launched. There were lots of comments along the lines of “well, if Instagram has video now, why should I have an extra account on Vine? I’m already on Instagram.” Users (especially the prized 18-24 demographic which lots of brands market to) want a syndicated experience rather than having to jump from service to service just to get caught up.
These brands know that and have seen significantly bigger engagement from the audience on Instagram.
In simple words, Instagram tends to get better results and higher engagement for businesses looking to foray into the video space with their marketing campaigns.
Of course YouTube is owned by Google (and continually pwnd by narcissistic 16 year olds judging from the comments) so it makes sense that your Google Account (the one used to login to GMail, GCal, Google Docs, etc) should include YouTube.
But I saw this for the first time this evening when visiting YouTube…
Did I miss something? Isn’t that new?
And if you’re bored, go watch my awesome Kindle videos onmy YouTube channel. I freaking love that thing.
Magnify.net is releasing a very exciting new WordPress and MovableType plugin aimed at making it easier for bloggers to find and include images and videos into posts.
Basically, the plugin integrates easily and nicely into either a WordPress or MoveableType install and allows for a blogger to include a keyword relevant image or video to be embedded in a post within a few seconds.
As most bloggers know, finding relevant images or video content for a post can consume a great deal of time and often lead to frustration. So, the Magnify Publisher program definitely solves a much maligned problem.
Magnify Publisher searches through popular video sources such as YouTube, Metacafe, Veoh, Blip.tv, Google Video, AOL Video, RedLasso and a number of others. At the moment, Flickr is the only available image search source but Magnify CEO Steve Rosenbaum tells me that this will soon be expanded.
Here’s an example of the video search and embedding feature:
And here’s an example of the image search and embedding feature:
Perhaps most compelling is the ability to also directly and easily incorporate webcasts into a blog post. So, instead o recording a video on a webcam then uploading that video to YouTube then grabbing the embed code then embedding that code into a WordPress blog, a blogger can simply press a couple of buttons and instantly get their webcam video embedded into a post.
Here’s an example:
These are very innovative features from the Magnify team and definitely needed improvements to the current paradigm of blogging. When I spoke with Steve Rosenbuam today, he mentioned his ardent belief that popular blogs of the immediate future would be those that best blend the visual, video and text components of content creation rather than those that just focus on one specific medium.
Magnify’s Publisher plugin goes a long way in supporting his idea.
VideoClix.tv is attracting a good deal of attention and for good reason. Basically, anything mentioned in a video becomes a keyword that leads to a clickable affiliate link. Even Revision3’s Diggnation is employing their technology…
I can’t imagine this sort of technology remaining independent for too long and expect to see a Google or someone snap them up or replicate the idea.
YouTube had a small event last night in which it unveiled some of the upcoming tweaks and improvements to its video platform. Included with better video editing tools and more distribution is this interesting tidbit…
What’s Next for YouTube (Video Editing, Recommendations, Advertiser Analytics): “—For marketers, the ‘real news was YouTube’s announcement of an impending launch of advanced analytics tools. You’ll be able to see where video views are coming from (geographically and site-wise), as well as many other data points. This will be a huge help to advertisers trying to extract more success metrics and data from their YouTube efforts.’”
Whether or not online marketers and advertisers will hop on the video bandwagon en masse in 2008 remains to be seen, but the addition of a more solids metrics program to a large video distribution platform like YouTube does point things in a pro-video direction.