Consumers’ embrace of (Facebook / Instagram / Snapchat) Stories is creating a big creative challenge for advertisers.
The vertical video slideshow’s fast, skippable format doesn’t cater to traditional 15-, 30- and 60-second video ads.
That said, it does cater to a familiar format we social media geeks know, love and miss: Vines.
Oh yes, Vines– the beautifully brilliant and quick-hitting 6-second video dopamine hits. Facebook, in particular needs them — not only for Stories, but across its increasingly video-centric platform.
According to Delmondo, Facebook Watch videos averaged 23 seconds in time spent late last year. Takeaway: you can’t jam pre- or mid-roll video ads in front of this viewing behavior that are more than a few seconds long.
TechCrunch’s Josh Constine went so far as to focus this week on why unskippable Stories ads could revive Facebook. And here’s why they’re likely coming:
Facebook estimates that across social media apps, sharing to Stories will surpass sharing through feeds some time in 2019. One big reason is they don’t take a ton of thought to create. Hold up your phone, shoot a photo or short video and you’ve instantly got immersive, eye-catching, full-screen content. And you never had to think.
And Facebook is even more likely to go the unskippable Stories ad route following Snapchat’s decision to roll them out this week, as Ad Age’s Garett Sloane reported.
But nailing this new creative format will be difficult. Josh continues later in his article:
Stories, and Stories ads, are fundamentally different. They require big, tantalizing photos at a minimum, or preferably stylish video that lasts five to 15 seconds. That’s a huge upward creative leap for advertisers to make, particularly small businesses that’ll have trouble shooting that polished content themselves. Rather than displaying a splayed out preview of a link, users typically have to swipe up or tap a smaller section of a Story ad to click through.
Viners to the rescue, perhaps?
It’s worth noting that while Facebook adopting unskippable Stories ads is up for debate, Sheryl Sandberg confirmed this week the company is working with some of its advertisers to develop video ads as short as 6 seconds.
I tweeted about this earlier this week (see image below), and I got an interesting reply from CEO Tristan Snell at Snakt, an iOS peer-to-peer video messaging app that appears to be in beta and hasn’t launched in a big way just yet. I asked Tristan for comment for this story, but he’s yet to oblige. We’ll need to wait for the “big news” that’s coming, I guess.
I recommend to Snakt or anyone entering this space to consider a strong b2b (over a b2c) play. Everyone loves to build a consumer-facing hit, but in this world– dollars do the talking, and there are plenty of Benjamins to clean up if someone creates a b2b 6-second storytelling agency. Just saying.
I don’t know if Snakt will be the answer or not. I do know that the Vine community itself, the top Viners who day in and day out entertained their audience, those are the creative folks I’d be corralling into a b2b Vine-like 6-second creative play.
Viners, where you at?
And for your viewing pleasure, here’s a compilation of the best Vines ever on YouTube.