Social video: a new dawn?

I wrote recently about a fundamental flaw in publishers’ use of video on social media …

Video on Facebook and Twitter autoplays mute.

It’s a problem.

And publishers didn’t seem to be grasping it.

Rye Clifton at GDS&M put it best:

If you can make something compelling without needing people to turn the audio on, you’re ahead of people who are not thinking that way.

Since then, it’s been pleasing to note the upturn in “socially-optimised” video content—i.e. video that allows for, and works with both platforms’ autoplay functions.

Simone Biles

The New York Times’ timely film on the 19-year-old Olympic champion is a masterclass in social video production.

Using dynamic text astons that animated not only as a layer on the film, but tracked Biles’ movements within the film was an inspired move — adding real depth to the end product.

It’s incredibly heartening to see the production team credited at the tail end of the item, too.

Zip World

Insider have gone one step further by adding a “Tap for Sound” DOG to the top of their piece on Bethesda-based Zip World.

I’d argue that the DOG is somewhat redundant though, as the drum n’ bass audio track adds very little to the experience.

If you’re going to ask users to “Tap for Sound” — give them something worth hearing (in the vein of NYT’s Simone Biles film).

Locked In My Body

Locked In My Body, BBC Wales’ mini doc for BBC Three was trailed on social media recently, and accounted for the speech bed by adding subtitles.

The colourised text editorialises certain words or paragraphs, and provides the user with greater clarity.

In summary

When all is said and done, I stick by my original postscript—because without that, you’ve got nothing…

Make compelling content. Above all, that’s the main thing.