One indicator of current trends in the realm of social networking is the news that the image messaging and multimedia application Snapchat now has more daily active users than Twitter. Snapchat is generating 10 billion video views per day, up from 8 billion views per day in February. Facebook also has 8 billion video views per day but that is on the back of a much larger user base.
Responding to the growing dominance of videos in social networking, Facebook is betting big on live videos. While regular in-line videos are doing fairly well on Facebook, the thinking is that streaming live videos would increase viewer engagement. So, Mark Zuckerberg and company are taking numerous steps to ensure that more people will tune into Facebook to see live events.
Some days ago, Zuckerberg held his first live Q & A over Facebook Live and the hour-long session had its share of fun moments. Facebook has signed a deal with television and showbiz personalities such as chef Gordon Ramsey, actor Kevin Hart and comedian Jerry Seinfeld for live sessions. So, effectively, Facebook wants to turn your browser or app into a television.
Recent announcements also suggest that Facebook's 360-degree videos support is gaining traction. To encourage greater viewer engagement, the company is adding reaction and emojis features to 360 videos. The social network has recently added support to 360-degree photos as well.
Another social networking outfit, Twitter, is also trying to get more people to use videos on its platform. One hurdle to overcome in this effort would be the conventional thinking that videos on Twitter, and it's offspring Vine, are painfully slow to load.
Some days ago, Twitter acquired a machine learning company called Magic Pony which will help them improve imaging and videos. Twitter has also announced that it will now allow 140-second videos on both Twitter and Vine, as opposed to the 30-second videos it allowed earlier and the 6-second looping videos that Vine was known for. Periscope, the live streaming service is also a big bet for Twitter.