Facebook Video Length and the Matter of Time
There is a familiar expression: “Less is more.” This means to make a point directly and quickly. A living example of this phrase can be traced to online video; specifically on Facebook. Recent studies show that in the course of the last couple of years, the shorter the video running time – the more engagement it received. Is this a sign of things to come?
The last three years – short, shorter, and still shorter.
In an article for NewsWhip, Katherine K. Ellis echoes the issues publishers and brands are trying to figure out regarding the length of video content, how long (or soon) before it is tuned out, and if anything over a few minutes is a thing of the past. Going by figures from the last several years, it was determined that the average length of the 10 most engaged videos were as follows:
- 2017: 128 seconds
- 2018: 147 seconds
- 2019: 71 seconds
Complementing the above figures, a recent article in the video editing app Swish, noted that attention spans, on average, have dwindled from 12 seconds (in the year 2000) to 8 seconds (in 2019). Does this mean that the chance to convey a message via video will at some point in time be a matter of seconds? Maybe. Maybe not.
Can longer videos last?
The NewsWhipstudy went on to state that short videos don’t necessarily equate to high engagement. Longer videos can, in some cases, receive a lot of engagement as well. One example, which played this year, revealed a site named Viking-Persib, which hosted a video which was 18 minutes in length and garnered 300K engagements in a two-month period. Katherine Ellis concludes: “When we [marketers] know what resonates with our audiences, we can begin to develop intentional content that can drive reactions, no matter the length.”
So, there are apparently no hard-and-fast rules for a particular viewer’s time limit when it comes to watching online video content. If it is relatable to a particular viewer (or target audience), they will watch the video until it finishes, regardless of its length. Factors to keep in mind are the number of followers a particular page has, and how long it has been active. Still, it’s probably better to stay on the side of caution – or brevity.
Start small (read: be brief) for first-time videos on social media.
Keeping up with this year’s trend, Swish recommends that – to be on the safe side – the running time for a video foot representing a brand or business should be no longer than one minute in length. (In regard to other social media platforms, Twitter videos should be no longer than 45 seconds and Instagram should finish at 30 seconds.) This is especially true for businesses that are either new or have just begun posting video to social media.
The use of video on social media is a very effective means to attract, connect with, and maintain the following of an audience. The trick is to know how long video content should run before these audiences lose interest. To find out more information about how EGC can guide and curate your brand’s online video and social media presence, give us a call today.