As social video platforms continue to innovate at a rapid clip, we keep an eye out for the key updates to ensure our customers stay informed.

Here’s the latest must-know news from the social video advertising ecosystem:

YouTube: New OTT Streaming and Sunsetting Non-Skippable Ads

Last week, YouTube announced a unique over-the-top streaming service — soon, YouTube will release a $35 per month service that bundles YouTube’s vast library of video content alongside ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and 30 other major cable channels. Connected TV viewers represent a tremendous opportunity to reach a fast-growing audience, with eMarketer estimating that 56.1% of the U.S. population viewed video through a connected TV in 2016. This latest announcement comes on the heels of a report that Comcast will offer YouTube’s app on its set-top boxes.

In addition, YouTube will no longer offer 30-second non-skippable video ads in 2018. The platform, which recently announced that users watch more than 1B hours of video per day, has long urged advertisers toward its skippable TrueView ads, recently deprecating non-skippable ads within AdWords. By removing non-skippable ads altogether, YouTube is showing its commitment to a superior user user experience, and helping advertisers reach interested viewers who choose not to skip video ads.

Facebook: Improved Mobile Experience

Facebook is rolling out a suite of updates to its mobile video products. Notably, video in the News Feed will autoplay with sound as long as a user’s phone isn’t set to silent. Additionally, Facebook’s mobile app now offers picture-in-picture video, giving users the opportunity to minimize a video to watch while scrolling through their News Feed. The social network is also experimenting with mid-roll ads on videos longer than 90 seconds as part of its strategy to grow long-form video content creation and viewership.

Twitter: Identifying Videos of Interest

Twitter is making moves in support of its video-first strategy with testing of a new autoplay feature that alerts users to videos of potential interest. Similar to the platform’s ‘While you were away’ feature, this product positions video at the top of the timeline, and will likely increase watch time on Twitter.

Snapchat: Expanding Spectacle Sales

Snap expanded access to Spectacles with a new online store; previously, users had to venture to Snap’s NYC pop-up shop or find one of its surprise vending machines. While Snapchat hasn’t yet generated serious revenue from Spectacle sales, the innovative hardware encourages users to share more Snaps. Snap raised $3.4 billion last week in its IPO, showing that investors are confident in the future of the platform.

Pinterest: New Purchasing Products

Pinterest, a relative newcomer to social video advertising, recently released two features to ease the process of searching and purchasing within the platform: Shop the Look and Lens. Shop the Look helps users buy products featured in photos, and allows brands to tag multiple products within the same image, while Lens functions as a sort of visual search engine, using machine learning to analyze objects in the real world and suggesting related products on Pinterest.

Side Note: We’ve observed that as the pace of development accelerates, social video platforms are converging toward feature parity (e.g., video hubs and livestreaming). How should an advertiser approach this increasingly symmetrical ecosystem? Our EMEA managing director, Chris Bennett, recently shared his insights on navigating social video feature parity in Mediatel.


Contact us today if you’d like to learn more about how Pixability’s technology can help you or your clients achieve advertising success across social video platforms.