My latest column looked at the future of video in relation to search. The piece inevitably turned to Facebook. I pointed to the trialling of new types of video content (360 and live streaming) on the service and the increasing importance of video in its own results pages as a way it can compete with Google and YouTube for viewer numbers.
A recent announcement from Facebook goes into even more detail on how it is developing its search and video provision.
In an effort to help brands and businesses on Facebook connect, partner up, and make deals with creative content producers, the service is launching a tool called Brand Collabs.
The tool is currently only available in the US but is expected to roll out further very soon. It allows brands to search for creators on the service – even digging down to creatives who are already fans of the brand in question – and makes it really easy for them to reach out and connect.
Brands can narrow down suitability of potential creatives in terms of the audience that are already in their networks. This is handy, for instance, if a business wants to promote a piece of content to a particular demographic. They can also view other brands with which creators have already worked with.
From the perspective of the creator, Brand Collabs allows users to showcase work with insights and analytics to prove its value. Creatives can also construct their own portfolios, and make themselves known to brands by liking them and appearing on their search lists of potential creators.
New types of gamified and interactive video
Unsurprisingly, video looks like it is going to be a massive part of how Brand Collabs develops.
Content creators are seeing more and more success with video on Facebook. And Facebook is responding by giving video more real estate in its news feeds and more of a presence in its search results.
Video is also central to Facebook’s latest announcements. In an effort to make video more community-centric, the service is promoting an increasing range of interactive tools. These include polling for live and on-demand video, as well as gamification features ‘that will give creators the power to create fun, unique, and interactive content for their fans.
More user-made content on Facebook Watch
Creator-driven content is also set to be given more of a presence in Facebook’s Watch service.
To date, Facebook Watch has only really featured TV shows and has only been available in the US.
Facebook’s latest announcement promises that video content from pages will become available on Facebook Watch, giving visibility to independent content creators alongside big established shows.
It is also safe to expect that we’ll see Facebook Watch filter out to other markets in the not too distant future.
Facebook’s plans for Brand Collabs and video will be exciting for businesses keen to further explore how they can use the service to engage with potential customers, as well as for creatives who want to get their work seen by more people and want to offer their services to brands.
Brand Collabs is an interesting development for the service. It is further promoting the creation of content specific to, and within, the service. It gives both brands and creatives (and ultimately users) more of a reason to go to the service to make, consume and interact with content.
Video is central to Facebook’s plans. It can leverage the community-driven backbone of the site to drive unique types of content and it can mark itself out from the Google/YouTube dominated part of the digital sphere.
But we can also see the importance of search to the future of Facebook. With more unique content on the service, and more people stepping into the walled garden, users need to be able to find this content without simply relying on the newsfeed to present it to them. Facebook Watch and an evolving site search are certainly a step in the right direction.