Video was the cornerstone of the new features that Facebook announced at the F8 developer conference. Many of the core product updates and announcements were designed to make the platform more appealing to creators and viewers of video content, while simultaneously increasing watch time on the platform.

These announcements, like augmented reality 3D effects and the integration of video viewing in the mobile News Feed, represent Facebook’s latest attempt to engage audiences longer, and slow Snapchat’s growth by releasing free versions of its most valuable ad products.

Here’s a look at some of Facebook’s latest updates to its video offering announced at F8:

    • 3D Effects: Facebook is launching augmented reality filters across its suite of apps (Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger, in addition to the core Facebook app) that allow users to insert virtual objects into images and videos — even while live-streaming. In addition, the platform is releasing development tools to allow creators and brands to design their own 3D filter effects for free.

This feature is a clear shot across Snapchat’s bow — not only does it advance Facebook’s augmented reality technology far beyond that of Snapchat’s face-modifying lenses and filters, but it also undercuts Snapchat’s most expensive ad product, sponsored lenses.

  • Integrated Mobile Viewing on the News Feed: Facebook is upgrading its flagship mobile app’s video capabilities. Soon, viewers will be able to continue watching videos as they scroll through the News Feed, as video content will continue to play within a small video viewer in the screen’s corner — likely increasing watch time among mobile viewers, and heating up its competition with YouTube.

  • Improved Video Discovery: Through algorithmic improvements and social communities, Facebook is bolstering how users discover video content, underscoring the platform’s focus on becoming a video-first platform.

  • Enhanced OTT Video App: Viewers may be cutting the cable cord, but they’re still looking to view content in the living room. In light of this trend, Facebook announced further enhancements to its OTT video app for connected TVs, redoubling its aggressive pursuit of the growing OTT video audience.

  • Ad Break: Facebook showcased an experimental mid-roll ad unit for videos that are longer than 90 seconds. Dubbed “Ad Break,” the new ad product is designed to encourage publishers to produce — and monetize — longer-form video content.

  • Video AI: Facebook highlighted its progress in artificial intelligence, which allows the platform to understand in real-time what objects appear in a video, how people interact with objects, and how they interact with each other. This information can be used, among other things, to provide better metadata for videos, which will tremendously improve Facebook’s video search and ad targeting capabilities.

This set of new video features illustrates that Facebook is no longer simply a social network — the platform has evolved into a premiere destination for video, accelerating the race for viewing audiences and video ad dollars.

Advertisers, will you be incorporating Facebook’s new video products into your digital strategy this year?

Contact us today to learn more about how Pixability’s insights and technology can help you maximize your video performance on Facebook.