LRW Partners with Facebook on Research
People in the US and Canada are watching more mobile video than ever. Facebook IQ research reveals why.
Video killed the radio star… and is quickly taking over the small screen.
Over the last year on a global scale, daily watch time for Facebook Live broadcasts has quadrupled1 and time spent watching video on Instagram has increased by 80%.2 And this growth seems likely to continue: 45% of people surveyed in the US and Canada told us they expect to consume even more video on their smartphones in the future, and Cisco predicts that by 2020, over 75% of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video.3
While the dramatic rise in mobile video consumption is driven in part by a desire for on-the-go entertainment, our research revealed this isn’t the full story, at least when it comes to mobile video on our platforms. People surveyed in the US and Canada indicated they are drawn to mobile video on Facebook and Instagram because it connects them to a community, offers them personally relevant content and makes them feel excited and engaged.
Mobile video viewers seek convenience, community and relevance
When Facebook IQ asked people in our survey who said they’re watching an increasing amount of mobile video to explain why, many noted that mobile videos are convenient: they tend to be short and can easily be viewed anytime, anywhere.
People in the US and Canada watch mobile video everywhere — including at home4
My schedule is why I am watching more videos on my smartphone. While I am commuting and waiting is when my smartphone is most handy. I would be frustrated without the escape it provides during those times.
— Woman, US, age 52
I don’t have time to sit down and watch TV, but I can watch my phone in the bathroom, on the bus and on the go.
— Man, US, age 22
But the appeal of mobile video on Facebook and Instagram is about more than convenience and flexibility. Our survey showed that people are also drawn to mobile video on Facebook and Instagram because compared with traditional TV, it’s 2.9x more likely to help them feel connected to friends and family and 1.9x more likely to give them something to talk about. In other words, it makes them feel part of an engaged community.
People watch mobile video to connect to a community5
Reasons people in the US and Canada say they watch video content.
[On Facebook] I can watch other types of videos that have basically been curated by my friends. It’s interesting to see what others liked enough to share with everyone.
– Woman, US, age 25
Mobile video dials up emotion and engagement
Facebook IQ research showed that people associate mobile video with positive emotions. When we conducted a fast-response survey exercise in the US and Canada designed to tap into people’s strongest associations with TV and mobile video, we found that people appeared to most strongly associate viewing mobile video on Facebook and Instagram with feeling happy.
Those surveyed were also 1.8x more likely to say they feel inspired by mobile video on Facebook and Instagram than TV, and 1.5x more likely to say they feel excited by mobile video on Facebook and Instagram than TV.
On the other hand, people surveyed were more likely to associate TV with relaxation than mobile video on either platform.
Mobile video promotes inspiration, TV invites relaxation4
Percent of people surveyed who associate the platform with feeling…
It’s worth noting, however, that it’s not just the type of mobile video content found on Facebook and Instagram that could inspire this excitement or engagement. It could also be the experience of watching video content on a mobile device itself.
In an earlier study, when we showed a group of participants the same video content on a smartphone and on a TV and measured their cognitive responses, we found that they exhibited a stronger emotional reaction and higher levels of engagement when watching the content on a smartphone than on a TV.5
We have two theories as to why mobile video feels more emotionally engaging than TV. One is that viewing content on a more personal device — a device that has practically become an extension of our bodies — creates a stronger emotional connection. The second is that seeing video at a shorter distance might reduce distractions and feel more immersive, thus eliciting heightened emotions.
What it means for marketers
Create for how people consume:
People watch mobile video throughout the day in a variety of locations, from restaurants to the office to the bus. Make your content easy to understand in a sound-off environment, but reward those who leave the sound on with engaging audio. For more tips, check out these creative considerations for Facebook mobile feed.
Give them something to talk about
People turn to mobile video on Facebook and Instagram because the content is often sparks conversations both on and off the platform. Make your mobile videos striking enough for people to share, when they’re on mobile during a break from work or chatting #IRL at a summer rooftop party. See how other brands have captured attention using Instagram Stories.
In a feed environment, people expect to see content that feels curated to their unique interests. Make the most of Facebook and Instagram’s targeting options to reach your specific audience, whether it’s Millennial moms in Idaho or Boomers with an interest in gardening in Vancouver. Watch this Facebook Blueprint course on targeting to learn more.
Source unless otherwise specified: “Media Attitudes” by Lieberman Research Worldwide (Facebook-commissioned study of 1,500 people ages 18–64 in the US and Canada), Mar 2017. “Mobile video” was defined as video viewed on a smartphone.
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