Facebook to expand dedicated video efforts

facebook_video_searchFacebook is due to roll out its dedicated Video Home section widely across the service and could consider launching it as a standalone app in the future.

Speaking on the company’s third quarter earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that while there are no current plans for a standalone video service, other Facebook services have been separated out in the past.

“I think it [Video Home] is 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 fulfil their potential, it needed to be its own experience over time,” said Zuckerberg.

“We will 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.”

Zuckerberg said that Facebook’s trials of Video Home in a few markets earlier this year had gone well and that it is “hoping to roll that out pretty soon widely”.

He described the new feature as a section for people who “specifically want to watch different kinds of videos” and for those looking to see what videos a recent page that they follow has posted.

“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,” said Zuckerberg.

“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.”

Discussing Facebook’s broader ‘video-first’ strategy, Zuckerberg said that the number of people using Facebook Live has grown four-fold since May and that the social network is working to put video first across its apps.

“People are creating and sharing more video, and we think it’s pretty clear that video is only going to become more important,” said Zuckerberg.

“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.”

In Ireland Facebook is already testing a version of its app that includes a camera with Snapchat-style ‘creative effects’ for photos and videos.

Zuckberg said that in Messenger it is also testing new camera and video features, and added that Facebook will be “experimenting with even more visual messaging tools over the next few months as well.”

Also speaking on the call, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said that in the past month alone, more than three million small businesses have posted a video on Facebook, including organic posts and ads.

Overall for the quarter, Facebook said it had an average of 1.79 billion monthly active users as of September 30, an increase of 16% year-on-year. Monthly average mobile users stood at 1.66 billion, an increase of 20% year-on-year.

Total revenue was up 56% year-on-year for the quarter to US$7.01 billion while net income was up 166% to US$2.38 billion.