A new study by Dazeinfo reports that the average length of video content on Facebook is 44 seconds; however, video less than 21 seconds has the highest retention of viewers. Up to 33 percent of viewers click away from a video after 30 seconds, the study finds. This is a huge callout of the significance of the first few seconds of videos, considering Facebook’s autoplay feature, which automatically starts videos as users scroll through their news feeds.
The shorter a video is, the study continues, the more likely it is to be completed by the viewer. The success of popular video social networks such as Vine, Tout, and Viddy is further evidence that shorter videos are more likely to garner higher retention rates.
The data is also useful for marketers looking to leverage Facebook video marketing more effectively—particularly with the recent acquisition of LiveRail, an online video advertising platform.
Last month, the Content Standard reported that Facebook’s acquisition of LiveRail would enable the social network both to provide video inventory to marketers and to help display ads when and where they are most effective. Couple the new purchase with the autoplay feature, and keeping viewers engaged for 21 seconds becomes that much easier. Marketers are able to focus their efforts to those first few seconds.
Dazeinfo also sheds light on optimization tactics, citing research from ad company Jun Group. The research credited instantly compelling content as the key to highly shared videos. Videos 15 seconds or shorter are shared 37 percent more often than those between 30 seconds and one minute in length. The recent Ice Bucket Challenge—which was designed to raise awareness of and support research for ALS—is a great example of a short video campaign that gained virality and was driven by instantly compelling content. The campaign, which became popular in late July, has already raised over $100 million from over three million donors.
Considering that global IP video traffic is slated to be “79 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2018,” it’s no wonder Facebook has been pulling out all the stops to strengthen its appeal to potential video marketers.
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