Sven Herold | CEO LiveTube

“Video is only to become more important”, says Mark Zuckerberg

During yesterday’s investor call (11/02/16), Mark Zuckerberg made some very interesting comments on the general video market and his approach with FB. 

Find below his main statements regarding video followed by his comments and answers to questions from the financial community. 

Opening Remarks Mark Zuckerberg:

.. I want to start by talking about our work around putting video first across our apps. People are creating and sharing more video, and we think it’s pretty clear that video is only going to become more important. So that’s why we’re prioritizing putting video first across our family of apps and taking steps to make it even easier for people to express themselves in richer ways. 

One way we’re putting video first is through live video on Facebook. Since May, the number of people going live at any given moment has grown by four times. And people have gone live from all seven continents and also from outer space. 

Another recent example is Instagram Stories, which we launched in August. Instagram Stories is a lightweight way for people to share moments of their day through photos and videos that appear in a slide show format and disappear after 24 hours. Stories now has more than 100 million daily actives. We also improved the Explore tab in Instagram to include more videos and stories, and it has 100 million daily actives now as well. 

In addition to making it easy to share video, we also want to make it easier to capture video. In most social apps today, a text box is still the default way we share. Soon, we believe a camera will be the main way that we share. We’re already testing this in our main Facebook app with a version that has a camera, directly just one swipe away from News Feed, with creative effects for your photos and videos. And in Messenger, we’re testing new camera and video features. We’ll be experimenting with even more visual messaging tools over the next few months as well. 

So those are a few examples of some of the things that we’re doing to put video first across our family of apps.  

Zuckerberg Statement During Conference Call (November 2, 2016)

 

Q+A session (topic video only)

Anthony DiClemente – Nomura Securities International, Inc.

… For Mark, in terms of video and your broader media content strategy, just trying to think about your investment in Facebook Live, and then trying to frame that against investments in I guess non-live forms of video, such as maybe short form, prerecorded, professional content. So how do you weigh investing in live versus let’s call it on-demand content?

And maybe a related question would be, FOX Sports and Sports Illustrated are co-producing some original content for Facebook Live. I think they’re doing a pregame show ahead of the big game tonight. So that seems like, in some ways, it’s an entree into sports perhaps for Facebook. Could you give us an update on whether or not you see any advantage or any benefit in licensing sports content over time versus having one of the publishers do it on the Facebook platform? Thanks.

Mark Elliot Zuckerberg – Facebook, Inc.

Sure. So there was a lot in there, and I’ll address most of it. The video-on-demand content is the vast majority of video that is both shared and consumed on Facebook, not live video, but live is growing very quickly. And part of the reason why we’re investing in it is we see that video as a medium is not only in the future going to be about people producing content that looks like traditional content and then consuming it in a static rectangle video screen.

So live video we think represents an example of something new, which is video which is a medium for doing something that’s really interacting with other people. Whether you’re a public figure that is using it to hold a town hall or interact with a lot of people at the same time, or you’re hanging out with your friends by going live and you have 10 people who are just there with you chatting with you while you’re doing something, going about throughout your day, it’s not the kind of traditional video experience; it’s actually a more social experience.

I think 360 videos in another way are another example of this kind of interactive video experience, and my guess will be that we will see more different kinds of video media as time goes on. I think Stories is another example of this. We’re seeing it with Instagram Stories and with Messenger and the initial test that we have with Messenger Day, where that is another interesting format for how you can put videos together. And I think that’s going to be more and more.

But to put that all in context, the majority of consumption today is video on demand. We are very interested in making sure that the business model that we have works for folks who produce content as their business to make sure they can make money from it, so that their best content comes on Facebook. So it’s going to be a lot of growth in all of these things across all our family of apps.

Mark A. May – Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. (Broker)

Thanks a lot. I think the first one is for Mark. When you went mobile-only or started this concept, you had to tweak the app because it wasn’t necessarily optimized for mobile. As now you begin to move to more of a video first approach, what needs to happen to the Facebook app both from a consumer-facing and from an ad tools perspective to make sure that you’re optimized for video? What needs to change?

Mark Elliot Zuckerberg – Facebook, Inc.

So I can talk about shifting to put video first across our whole family. There are two broad sets of improvements that I think we need to make. One are to the capture and sharing tools that we offer. So the example of that is the new camera that we’re working on and all the creative tools around that. And then on the other hand, we also need to improve the infrastructure to deliver the best videos to people and do that quickly.

So if you think about what is enabling video to become huge right now, it’s that fundamentally the mobile networks are getting to a point where a large enough people around the world can have a good experience watching a video. If you go back a few years and you tried to load a video in News Feed, it might have to buffer for 30 seconds before you watched it, which wasn’t a good enough experience for that to be the primary way that people shared. But now it loads instantly. You can take a video and upload it without having to take five minutes to do that, so it’s a good experience.

So we’re very focused on creative tools. You can see that a little bit in the announcement and launch of Instagram Stories and what we’re doing with Messenger and some of the additional tests on Facebook and the camera work that we’re doing in WhatsApp. So this is across the whole family of apps. This is a big part of the product experience that we want to deliver.

And then on the actual delivery of video side, it’s just much more intensive technically. So there aren’t that many companies that can do this at the scale that we’re talking about, and this has been a big advantage for us. In rolling out things like Live, we’ve had this infrastructure that we’ve been building out for a decade all around the world, and that allowed us to build a product like Live where someone has to stream something live from their phone to potentially hundreds of thousands of people around the world. From a phone, that’s a difficult scaling problem. So we’ve been able to build that up, not just because of the ongoing investment in technology and infrastructure here, but because we’re building on this strong base.

That goes not only for just being able to deliver the content, but being able to understand what it is so we can rank it in News Feed better and show people the right content. But all of these things are going to be part of a cohesive experience to get behind our community. And when people are ready and want video to be the primary way that they’re sharing and consuming content, we’re going to be there ready.

Mark Mahaney – RBC Capital Markets LLC

… (Mark), you’re talking about some of these features and making the camera more of a central way of communicating on Facebook. How long do you think the iterations or the testing is going to go until, as an average user, I would notice that in my News Feed? Like I do see much more prevalence of live video, and it doesn’t seem to me yet a perfect experience. But just in terms of other features and putting the camera at centerpiece, do you think this is something that’s going to be obvious to people in the next year, couple of months? Just what’s the timing of the innovations?

Mark Elliot Zuckerberg – Facebook, Inc.

… we already rolled out the first test of the new camera in Ireland. And we’re a company that believes in testing things and getting feedback from our community before we roll it out broadly. We think we have a lot to learn. And the methodology of how we develop is we try to build things quickly. And rather than just relying on our own intuition, although we do rely on that a lot, we will try to put it out in the market and get feedback and then roll it out from there. So we rolled out what we believe is a good experience in Ireland. They were the first part of the community to get access to these new features. And then from there, we’ll start to roll it out broadly across the world, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Same thing on the Messenger side, as I mentioned, these products around my day, it’s a similar video medium to Instagram Stories and a similar camera to what we’re building in the Facebook app as well. And that we rolled out in a few countries as well. And similarly, based on the feedback that we’re getting, I would expect that we’ll be rolling that out pretty widely across the world soon as well.

Douglas T. Anmuth – JPMorgan Securities LLC

… Mark, how do you think about, whether with video in terms of doing it on core Facebook itself or on a separate video app, some of the puts and takes there between those two? … 

Mark Elliot Zuckerberg – Facebook, Inc.

So in the main Facebook app, we’re doing a number of different things. One is that video is naturally becoming a larger share of the content in News Feed because both people and pages are sharing more videos as a mix and people want to consume that content. So there’s not really a question of whether that should be a separate app. This is what people want News Feed to be increasingly, so this is what it will become.

There is a second experience called Video Home, which we started talking about earlier in the year. and we’ve rolled out again in a few markets, and those tests have gone well. So we’re also hoping to roll that out pretty soon widely. And that’s the new experience, which if you come to Facebook and you specifically want to watch some different kinds of videos or you want to see what videos a recent page that you follow has posted or the Presidential debate is on and you want to find a good place to go online to get that, you can go to Video Home and see that.

That is a new experience that we’re building, and building that as part of Facebook is a great way for people to see it and get exposure to it, and we’ll see where that goes over time. I think it’s a good experience inside Facebook, but we also have had examples over time, like Messenger for example, where we started it in Facebook and decided that in order to fulfill their potential, it needed to be its own experience over time. So we’ll look at all those options, but for now I really think that Video Home is going to be a great experience, and I’m excited to roll that out.

John Blackledge – Cowen & Co. LLC

… Just as it relates to video search, do you think that Facebook has the video content depth at this point for users to search for video content and be pleased with the experience? … 

Mark Elliot Zuckerberg – Facebook, Inc.

… search is an area that we’ve been working on for a while to improve. I don’t know what the most recent public stat is on that. So I’m not going to say a stat, but it’s grown a lot. So we’re happy with that and we think that reflects that people are getting value from the search experience, which a lot of the growth comes from people searching for posts and content in the system, not just looking up people and pages in the system. So on search, there’s that.

And then of course, I think that search is often driven by what unique content is in a system and not just the ability to find it. So I think what people are going to search Facebook for are finding people and content that they know is on Facebook and that isn’t in other places. And that I think is driving most of the volume today and I think can get us to be – we’re already one of the largest search engines in the world, but to be even bigger on that front.

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