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Elections, The Olympics and the End of the World: What’s Next for Social Video




“In February 2011, Volkswagen’s ‘The Force’ ad stormed the Superbowl to become
the most shared ad of all time in just six days, jumping from 100,000 to 1,000,000
views in just a few hours.”

That’s the first line of Unruly’s “What’s Next for Social Video Insight Report” and it really explains it all, doesn’t it?

In the past, a clever TV ad might have sparked a round of water-cooler chatter, but now ads are shared, reviewed, parodied and copied within days of release. Ad pitchmen are becoming overnight stars. And heaven forbid you make a misstep (Walking in an”orgy” wonderland) everyone will know about before you can pull the commercial off the air.

TV commercials aren’t the only ones benefiting from the world’s love affair with shareable videos. Anyone can make a splash with a clever idea and a lot of luck.

Unruly predicts that the next big social video hits will come from three major topics of 2012, the US Election, the Olympics and the rumored end of the world. Rather than avoid the obvious, think about how you can tie your brand or business into one of these topics. Creative and fresh is fine, but once Olympic fever takes hold, video viewers will be looking for more ways to enjoy the experience.

Unruly also predicts a rise in user generated content and indie films. Thanks to free hosting and inexpensive cameras, everyone can make a movie, even people who shouldn’t. YouTube may be shelling out for high-quality, original content, but videos of Susie’s shopping haul and Sam’s epic fail will continue to fill up the minutes.

How We Watch

The only big change coming to online video is how we watch. We began watching videos on our computers, but now we can watch on our cell phones, tablets and TVs.

You don’t have to wait until you get home to watch the video your friends are talking about, you can watch it on your phone while you’re having lunch at McDonalds. Unruly calls this the “best available device” culture. People watching what they want, when they want on whatever device they have handy.

Cross-platform social videos are just the start. Now companies are using multiple screens at the same time to reinforce their point. Follow a slide show on your phone while you watch a show on TV, or connect with your iPad while watching a DVD for an enhanced experience.

Social Sharing

The days when you had to go to YouTube to watch a video are over. Social media sites now make it easy to view and share videos without leaving the page. For mobile, this means auto switching to the appropriate app for a seamless viewing experience.

Facebook and Twitter make sharing easy, but Google+ takes it a step further with Hangouts. Here, you can share live videos -interviews, classes, business presentations. Then there are sites like StageIt that allow singers to perform live with fans paying a low ticket price for “admission.”

Social video is exploding and it’s probably doing your head in thinking about it. But it bears thinking about. You know my mantra – anyone with a webcam or a smartphone can be a star. All you need is a good idea.