Where do you watch videos?

I never go out of my way to watch video. Video always finds me.

Typically, I find myself most often watching video on Instagram from my iPhone. (Sidenote: I never access Instagram on my laptop – Instagram is awkwardly structured online to enjoy viewing my feed.)

Embeded below is the most recent video I watched:


Now, I would not go out of my way to watch this video. In fact, I did not even click on the video to watch it. I was simply scrolling down my feed on Instagram and as I scrolled over it, it began to play. Kudos to Instagram – it is forcing its users to watch videos. I think this may just be the most effective social media platform to post videos to – that is, if your target market is in fact following you. However, a downside to videos on Instagram is that they can only be fifteen seconds long.

Oppositely, there is Facebook. I rarely ever find a video on Facebook that I want to watch. The caption on a video must be extremely intriguing and it has to be shared by someone on Facebook that I am truly friends with – and that is the problem with sharing videos on Facebook. Not everyone on your news feed is someone that you actually desire to follow, but because Facebook is structured the way it is – you basically have to keep following them because you don’t want to de-friend them on Facebook. I mean, that is just awkward.

However, a plus to Facebook is that their videos are longer. People have the option to share videos that have more content than a video on Instagram. Typically, I watch videos from Facebook on my laptop. I don’t like watching videos from Facebook on my iPhone because it takes far too long to load. (Maybe that is just a downside to Sprint.)

Below is the most recent video I shared on Facebook:

Prior to viewing this video, Professor Herbert Lowe, asked if I had seen it. At that time I did not see it even on my news feed, so it sparked my interest and immediately caused me to view it. If I saw it on my news feed prior to this I probably would have watched the video, but I did not and my behavior was caused by Professor Lowe bringing the video to my attention.

The funny thing is that Professor Lowe posted this video on his 15 year anniversary with his wife, who earlier that day posted a photo of the two sharing a somewhat similar message. Professor Lowe was upset because his video only reached 77 likes, while the photo his wife shared reached 362 likes. See the photo below:

This is complex. With roughly the same amount of friends – around 2000 – it’s interesting to figure out why the photo receieved so many more likes.

According to Krista Bunskoek at Wishpond, Facebook posts that include images get around 120% more engagement than posts with no photos. However, it is found that an image post receives a 4.4% engagement rate, versus a 3% rate for video, according to Martin Beck at MarketingLand. Engagement rate for videos is growing, but clearly photos are noticeably more effective through statistics and this great example from above. However, it would be interesting to see what the statistics are when Facebook implements autoplay for News Feed videos.

Autoplay is a strong factor that determines where I watch videos online and this could cause my behavior to change. Due to auto play, I Maybe in the future I will watch more videos on Facebook. Maybe I will even watch the Facebook videos on my iPhone, too, when I am no longer a Sprint customer.