Why You Can’t Ignore Social Video Anymore

[This article originally appeared in “Why You Can’t Ignore Social Video Anymore” on Hootsuite and is written by Jeff Barrett.]

We love video. It’s easy to use, easy to create, easy to consume. We learn so much more from body language than we do from the written word—90 percent of communication is body language. So it’s easy to understand why people, especially millennials, are quickly migrating to video.

If you’re betting on text you would have been that person in history who preferred horses to cars, was fairly certain the world was flat, and thought no one would ever like stuffed crust pizza. Cheese in the crust has a higher approval rating than any politician ever will.

We’re three months away from your grandmother asking you to help her get on Snapchat. But you already know this. So let’s talk about what’s next, what’s motivating advertisers, and what that means for you.


The preferences of millennials, who now make up the largest age demographic and advertising target group in the United States, cannot be discounted. Advertisers want to cater to their preferences and their preference is to use video to communicate with, learn from, and interact with brands.

Troy Scarlott, VP of marketing and advertising at YapStone, a leading fintech company, says that millennials have changed the face of marketing: “I love the millennial generation because they have made marketers better. We have to be better, because the tried and true does not work with them. It has been said over and over that you can’t market to millennials. Well, we can and we do. With over 70 million in the U.S. this year, we have to. We just approach marketing differently, do it better and frame it in new ways.”

What’s Next


Facebook’s building a standalone camera app. It’s still early in development but they will continue to work on making live video more accessible to their 1.6 billion users. This should work in conjunction with Instagram and Messenger. Instagram could eventually be in direct competition with Snapchat. Plus, Facebook is already the best in social at driving advertising through their platforms. Facebook Live is just the first step of many.


Everyone is afraid of the ghost right now and for good reason: Snapchat now leads social media in video views. Sure, it’s clunky to find people. That will eventually change. Sure, it’s hard to create data to show advertisers. That will change even faster. Snapchat continues to innovate. Its success is based on how easy it is to use, its cool factor, and its new Stories and Discover features.

Cosmopolitan’s Snapchat channel gets 3 million daily views (and that was back in October). Plus, their direct competition doesn’t have access. There is no reason a publisher would ever stop using that.


Twitter’s partnership with the NFL to start streaming games is big. The increased live streaming capacity needed for that relationship will undoubtedly lead to enhanced capabilities for the entire user base.

Plus Periscope and Medium, both under their umbrella, can be better integrated. Twitter has the tools and the capability, they need to put it together and take their social video game to the next level.


The publishing industry is shifting from writers to video. Mashable, which let go of at least half of its editorial staff and top leadership, has been the most progressive. The shift from articles to videos is economic. It’s cheaper and faster to produce video with a small team than have a large staff of writers.

There will always be room for The Atlantic or The Economist but mass publishers will continue to shift to video. The response rates for video are better and that sells advertising. Video fits the business model better.


This shift to video would not have been possible five years ago. The technology wasn’t ready. Now we can stream without lag, produce video at a cheaper cost, and upload content immediately. As technology progresses, this will only grow faster.

We’ll never be able to go backward. Think about it. Would you like to go back to texting by using the number pad on your six-foot-tall Nokia? Of course not. Text is dead. Long live video.

And yes, I realize the irony of saying all of this in 702 words, instead of video.