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Facebook Users Are Notching Four Billion Video Views Every Day

Facebook users want video, and that means more video ads are on the way.

Yeko Photo Studio/ Shutterstock

Facebook products have a tendency to grow, and grow quickly. Video doesn’t appear to be an exception.

The social network announced on its Q1 earnings call Wednesday that it now serves up four billion video views to its user base every single day, up from three billion in January and just one billion back in September.

Of those four billion views, 75 percent come from mobile devices, according to COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Facebook videos play automatically, which certainly helps to juice the total-views metric, but going from one billion to four billion total views per day in a little over six months is one of the reasons people now consider Facebook as a bona fide YouTube competitor.

What’s still missing from that competition is a video ad push from Facebook that’s likely on the horizon.

“We’ve always believed that the format of our ads should follow the format of what consumers are doing on Facebook,” Sandberg added on the investors call. “The fact that there’s so much consumer video, that gives us the opportunity to do more marketing video as well.”

But Sandberg followed up with the “it’s still early days” caveat, and Facebook didn’t break out its video ad revenue (we knew that they wouldn’t).

She also added that bringing on more video ads may mean more traditional display; in-feed ads will be cut as a consequence. “Not all of the revenue from video is incremental,” she explained. “The video ads take the place of the other ads we serve into News Feed.”

It’s possible, then, that Facebook might prioritize video advertising over other ad units down the road. Video ads are more expensive, which means more revenue for Facebook, and if that’s what people are watching anyway, then what’s to hold them back?

In the meantime, Facebook is doing what it can to get more video in front of more people, including a new test that automatically plays a recommended video once the one you’re currently watching finishes. So while people clearly love watching video content, Facebook appears to love feeding it to users just as much.

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