Facebook looking to video to commercialise mobile drive

Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg

Video will play a key role in Facebook’s drive to commercialise its presence on mobile devices, according to chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, speaking after the company released its first quarter financials. 

Sandberg said that “video will play a significant role in bringing more marketers to mobile” and noted that over 75% of global video views on Facebook now occur on mobile platforms. She cited the example of Lionsgate targeting young women on Instagram and then on Facebook with multiple videos as part of its promotional campaign for the movie Age of Adaline.

Sandberg said that “video is exploding on Facebook”. Answering analysts’ questions, she said that Facebook would look to target the small and medium business segment for whom buying TV ad slots is out of reach. “I think all marketers have the opportunity to do video…including small and medium businesses who would never be able to hire a film crew and buy a TV ad,” she said. Sandberg said that over one million small and medium businesses had posted videos on the platform so far, with small advertising purchases around that.

Facebook passed a milestone of four billion daily video views on its network in the first quarter, according to CEO Mark Zuckerburg. Speaking on the results call, Zuckerburg said that over 80,000 videos had now been embedded on third party websites following its launch of an embedded video player that allows people to watch Facebook videos across the web.

Zuckerburg said that “spherical videos” would be supported in the Facebook news feed later this year, allowing users to change their viewing angle “for a more immersive experience”.

“Supporting new types of content like this is an important part of preparing for the future of how people want to share,” said Zuckerburg.

Facebook posted revenues of US3.54 billion for the quarter, up from US2.5 billion last year, and no-GAAP net income of US$1.189 billion, up from US$926 billion. Daily active users numbered 936 million for March, up 17% year-on-year.