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Facebook Introduces New Video Features: Automated Captions, Metrics + More

3 MINUTE READ | February 23, 2016

Facebook Introduces New Video Features: Automated Captions, Metrics + More

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Devon Eubanks

Devon Eubanks has written this article. More details coming soon.

Facebook is really starting to hit its stride as a video powerhouse. It was just a few months ago when 360 video and live streaming hit the platform, and now Facebook is rolling out automated captions and new video ad reporting to make mobile video viewing even easier and more effective.

Here’s a quick overview of what’s new:

Automated Video Captions

When using a mobile device, users like to have the option to easily turn on or off the sound depending on where they are. When they choose to turn the sound off, captioned videos help to communicate the story with no sound needed.

Previously, advertisers had to create their own captions and embed them within the video. Now, they will be able to simply choose the option to caption their videos and this will happen automatically.

So why does this matter? Facebook did some internal studies and found that sound and captions play a big role in the user’s experience – both in how they digest the video and how they respond. See some of their results below:

  • When feed-based mobile video ads play loudly when people aren’t expecting it, 80% react negatively, both toward the platform and the advertiser.

  • Captioned video ads increase video view time by an average of 12%.

  • 41 percent of videos were basically meaningless without sound.

New Video Reporting: Sound + Instagram View Counts

With some of Facebook’s recent discoveries around video, they are also offering up new reporting capabilities to help advertisers make videos even better.

The first new reporting capability is sound reporting. This reporting will show advertisers the percentage of users who viewed their videos with sound helping to educate advertisers on the importance of creating videos that make sense without sound. The reporting is now available in Page Insights and will also be rolling out in Ad insights in the near future as well.

Outside of sound reporting, Facebook also announced a very exciting new reporting capability for Instagram – organic view counts on videos. For more than a year now, advertisers have been begging Instagram and Facebook for the ability to measure view counts to see how well videos are doing. The first Instagram video view count capability was introduced with the roll out of sponsored Instagram posts, but was only available for paid views. Then, just last week, Instagram announced that video view counts will now start rolling out to all videos on the platform.

This is a huge change, especially given the growth of video on Instagram. In fact, Instagram reports that in the last six months, the time people spent watching videos on Instagram increased by more than 40 percent.

Other Updates

In addition to automated captions and reporting, Facebook also wrapped a third news item into last week’s announcement around video. It is expanding its 100% In-View Impression Buying capabilities globally, which gives advertisers more control when purchasing media.

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Find more information around Facebook’s new video capabilities and tips for building video creative for mobile feed here.

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