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Online audiences are spending more time watching, rather than reading, their news and information, so the Society of Professional Journalists and CNN Newsource recently teamed to present a webinar about best uses of video. Here’s a quick look at some of the interesting facts and trends covered — mixed in with some of our own observations here at Media Salad:

By 2020, 75 percent of the world’s data traffic will be video, Facebook predicts. And by 2022, there will be more than 2 billion mobile-video users, according to media analysis and consulting firm Wireless Media Strategies.

Smartphone users are three times likelier to view video news than desktop users — and desktop video views are declining.

Breaking news alerts are significant drivers of traffic, and two of three people receiving them actively engaged related video.

Today, the best platforms for driving video are social media networks, not individual news organizations. The top three video-sharing platforms are:

  • No. 1: Facebook, where video is viewed about 8 billion times a day.
  • No. 2: Twitter, which is news consumers’ top choice for digesting headlines quickly. About 74 percent of Twitter users access news daily and engage with likes, retweets and comments. About 94 percent of users report they get news by scrolling through their timelines, while only 34 percent say they’re guided by the network’s trending news topics. Twitter doesn’t drive much traffic for news organizations: Only 1.5 percent of a typical news organization’s traffic comes from Twitter (each tweet results in an average of three clicks).
  • No. 3: Instagram, which is steadily giving Facebook stiffer competition. The network has more than 500 million monthly, active users and is increasingly embracing video functionality. This month, the network launched a “live events” channel. Called “Events,” the channel will let users tap into the best clips from concerts, sporting and other entertainment events upload by other users on the network. In 2015, Instagram launched Boomerang. The app “takes a burst of photos and stitches them together into a high-quality mini video that plays forward and backward,” Instagram explains. “Shoot in portrait or landscape. Share it on Instagram. Boomerang automatically saves it to your camera roll. … With looping videos and Hyperlapse, you experiment with motion in new and exciting ways.”

Snapchat is the rising network to watch — and, like Instagram, it’s eating into Facebook’s following. Marketers need to understand that the networks’ users tend to consume video very differently. Facebook users watch about 85 percent of the network’s videos with the sound turned off, while in June, Snapchat proudly reported that about two-thirds of its users watch videos with the sound turned on. Marketers and media analysts have identified four chief reasons for the difference in viewing habits:

  • While at work, users engage Facebook more often than Snapchat.
  • Facebook must accommodate desktop users. Snapchat is only for mobile consumption.
  • It’s much easier for mobile users to control sound than for desktop users navigating through a keyboard or mouse.

  • Surveys suggest Snapchat users are more receptive to ads than Facebook users.
  • Snapchat users cite the exchange of humorous content as their primary reason for using the network, according to one study conducted at the University of Washington. By contrast, Facebook users report that their chief motivation for using that network is to speak into circles of family and friends — online engagement that may make ads (especially ads with sound) more obtrusive.

  • Snapchat ads are click-to-play, while all Facebook video plays automatically. Facebook introduced autoplay video –with the sound off — in 2013. Snapchat ads play — with the sound turned on — when they’re clicked, suggesting that the user genuinely wants to interact with the advertising message.


If you’ve got video to place, consider these news sites

Amazon’s Alexa continually ranks top news sites’ traffic. As of this post, the top 10 are:

  • Reddit
  • CNN.com
  • NYTimes.com
  • HuffingtonPost.com
  • TheGuardian.com
  • News.Yahoo.com
  • Weather.com
  • News.Google.com
  • FoxNews.com
  • Forbes.com


Now consider where to put your video on a screen

Many of the country’s largest news organizations, including CNN, use Chartbeat to analyze how to present news and sponsored content and video for maximum impact. To see the tool in action, visit here. Other popular analytic tools include those offered by Google and Adobe’s Marketing Cloud software.

Best video content

During the SPJ/CNN webinar, Danay Faulkner, senior director of CNN Newsource Sales and Affiliate Relations, ranked video categories according to top views:

“Surprise” videos These are king. Think a heartwarming reunion of family or friends. The surprise is often not something the viewer sees coming, either.

“Secret” videos Viewers are in on the surprises of these videos — say, a marriage proposal or a car given on a 16th birthday.

“Surveillance” videos These videos feature something extraordinary, such as a tornado touching down.

“Animal” videos C’mon, who doesn’t love another clip of those fluffy Panda cubs rolling down a slide, or a “singing” dog, or a cat playing in a paper bag?

“Unique Topics” These videos are unique to a local area and feature hometown favorites, such as a high school basketball team.

Media Salad will help you produce videos and make the most of them online. Contact us for more information.