Major analysis of Facebook has revealed that videos now get more engagement that any other format on the site. This means text posts and photos, once the absolute bread and butter of Facebook, have taken a backseat to video content.
But what subjects get the most attention on video? One might think that presently it would be politics, social issues and international relations. A journalist friend recently told me that a lot of journalists who cover issues other than politics are finding their work sidelined by the juggernaut of political news.
Although political stories are clearly massive on Facebook, videos of that nature are not getting the lion’s share of attention. By quite some distance, food is our favorite video subject on Facebook.
Home life still matters to us most
Analysis of 100 million Facebook videos, conducted by BuzzSumo, showed that videos about food got more than double the interaction of the next most popular topic – which is Fashion & Beauty.
The rest of the top five was made up by Animals (pets), DIY, and Humour, with Gaming following in sixth. Politics came in at 12th, just behind Travel.
In the last six months, a video for a Banana Bread Cheesecake recipe was the most popular of all, getting almost two million shares. Recipes were all the subject of the next three most popular videos, too.
It’s good to know we can still concentrate on the simple things in life.
DIY, by the way, involves a lot of “life hacks” and is not just about how to do wallpapering or whatever, so it could be said that food, DIY and pets all fit together under the umbrella of home life, which still seems to concern most of us a lot more than the massive stories and issues in public life.
The sweet spot of video length
The optimum length for a Facebook video was also assessed, with shorter videos proving to be the most popular. Although videos under 30 seconds in length got the least engagement of all, those from 60 to 90 seconds got the most interaction.
However, it should be noted that Facebook Live broadcasts were included in the analysis, and with those videos, interaction increased with length right up until about the 16 minute mark. Facebook Live videos also got slightly more interaction overall than other videos.
What kind of reaction are we giving?
Although it might sometimes seem like social media is full of angry (or pseudo-angry) people reacting to videos about political and social issues, in fact that’s not the story when it comes to the type of reaction we give.
Love and “haha” emojis (from Facebook’s selection that fairly recently were added to the thumbs-up “Like”) were used more than sad, angry and wow. Wow was the least commonly used, with angry second least.
Some people may take heart from the fact that home life matters most to us and that overall we are reacting positively to each other, while others may give a big angry face to the idea that in these troubled times we are predominately still laughing at each other’s cats and cheesecake.
Whatever your view, it’s interesting to get the facts of such a massive study.