The Significant Seven Social Video Platforms of 2017. Well, that’s what I’ve been doing since returning from the VidCon 2017 Industry Track. They included: Making it a whole lot easier for users to share their favorite YouTube videos with friends: Last year, YouTube announced a new sharing feature that lets users share videos right from the YouTube app. A new look for YouTube’s app and desktop site: YouTube wants to make sure that it provides the best experience when it comes to creating and watching videos. Perhaps the social video platform’s most important job is to show off your videos in the best possible way, no matter what format you choose to shoot them in. In a few weeks, the YouTube mobile app will dynamically adapt to whatever size users choose to watch it in. In May, the social video platform opened up a preview of its new desktop experience. Facebook’s Instagram has emerged as the #3 social video platform. And with the announcements earlier this year of live video on Instagram Stories, the option to save your live video to your phone at the end of a broadcast, and the option to share a replay of your live video to Instagram Stories, Instagram has diversified its repertoire. Every day, millions of people use the platform to express their creativity with videos that are shared across the musical.ly community.
Did you see the 2016 movie, The Magnificent Seven, which was a remake of the 1960 western of the same name, which in turn was a re-imagination of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 Japanese film Seven Samurai? Well, in all three movies, the hero carefully selects a small band of seven good guys to take on a small army of bad guys. And, each of these good guys is distinctly different that the other members of this group. Well, that’s what I’ve been doing since returning from the VidCon 2017 Industry Track. I’ve been carefully collecting the strategic insights, critical data, tactical advice, and trends in the digital video marketing business that I can share with video marketers to help them in the battles they face in the near future. And I want to tell the story in a way that helps them to understand that the social video market is segmented, not fragmented. Here, then, is my take on The Significant Seven social video platforms that should play a role in your upcoming plans.
YouTube is Still the Leader of the Pack
Although it faces serious challengers, YouTube is still the leader of the group. In my analogy, YouTube is like the bounty hunter, Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington), the veteran Cajun gunslinger, Chris Adams (Yul Brynner), or the aging but experienced rōnin, Kambei Shimada (Takashi Shimura).
I’ve already told you about the top takeaway from #VidCon 2017 Industry Track: 1.5 billion logged-in viewers visit YouTube every single month. And I’ve also mentioned that, on average, YouTube viewers spend over an hour a day watching videos on mobile devices alone. But, Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of YouTube, made five other announcements during her keynote conversation with Rhett & Link. They included:
- Making it a whole lot easier for users to share their favorite YouTube videos with friends: Last year, YouTube announced a new sharing feature that lets users share videos right from the YouTube app. Shortly, it will be available in Latin America and then throughout the U.S. soon after that.
- A new look for YouTube’s app and desktop site: YouTube wants to make sure that it provides the best experience when it comes to creating and watching videos. Perhaps the social video platform’s most important job is to show off your videos in the best possible way, no matter what format you choose to shoot them in. (It shouldn’t really matter if they’re vertical or horizontal, shot on a mobile phone or DSLR, or square, 4:3, or 16:9.) In a few weeks, the YouTube mobile app will dynamically adapt to whatever size users choose to watch it in. That means if they’re watching a vertical, square, or horizontal video, the YouTube player will seamlessly adapt itself, filling the screen exactly the way it should. YouTube also wants things to look just as good on a user’s desktop, too. In May, the social video platform opened up a preview of its new desktop experience. The new design is clean and has new features, including a Dark Theme that gives videos more of a cinematic look.
- Making VR more accessible and more affordable for viewers and creators: Currently, filming 360-degree VR videos isn’t easy for most creators and some VR cameras are expensive. So, YouTube and Daydream have worked together to develop a new format, VR180, and new cameras, which make it easier and more affordable to make VR videos. This new format delivers 3-D video while capturing a 180-degree view. Now, creators only have to worry about recording what’s in front of them while viewers will get an immersive experience with a VR headset, or a video that looks just as great on a phone as any other video. In addition, YouTube is working with camera manufacturers like LG, Yi and Lenovo to build new VR180 cameras for as little as a couple hundred dollars, which is comparable to what you’d pay for a point-and-shoot camera.
- Ten more markets for YouTube TV: At VidCon, Wojcicki announced that YouTube TV will be expanding to 10 more markets, including: Dallas-Fort Worth, Washington, D.C., Houston, Atlanta, Phoenix, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne and Charlotte. She added, “We see more Millennials using YouTube TV than any other generational group.” So, with this latest expansion, millions more Millennials will be able to stream their favorite live sports and must-see shows from top broadcast and cable networks.
- A new slate of YouTube Red Originals: To date, YouTube has launched 37 original series and movies on YouTube Red, and they’ve generated close to 250 million views. YouTube is working with its partners to help them create incredible content that delights their fans. At VidCon, Rhett & Link shared details on 12 new projects coming to YouTube Red. Here’s the preview:
So, YouTube didn’t ride into town on a one-trick pony. Yes, the speakers in the 2017 VidCon Industry Track who said YouTube has its faults and foibles – particularly its penchant for making algorithm changes without announcing them. And the social video platform can do always a better job of communicating with creators, advertisers, and the press – especially during and after a crisis like the recent YouTube ad boycott and the “Adpocalypse” that followed. But, no one questioned YouTube’s leadership in the industry. And that’s a significant story worth retelling your co-workers, clients, or colleagues around the campfire this summer.
Facebook is Second-in-command
If YouTube is still the leader of the group, then Facebook is the second-in-command. In my analogy, that makes Facebook like the gambler, Joshua Faraday (Chris Pratt), the drifter, Vin Tanner (Steve McQueen), or the skilled archer, Gorōbei Katayama (Yoshio Inaba).
I’ve already told you about one of the top three takeaways from #VidCon 2017 Industry Track the announcement of Facebook’s new creators’ app. This was showcased in sessions entitled, “The Future of Facebook Video” and “Fireside Chat with Fidji Simo of Facebook.” In addition to speakers from Facebook, there were sessions like “Hacking the Facebook Algorithm: Inside Facebook’s Secret Promotional Code,” which featured Gavin…