Video trends 2019: We predict what'll be big in video over the next 12 months

It’s a dilemma many people face at this time of year. Is November too early? Perhaps we should wait until December, I ask myself. People will be more in the mood for it then.

No, I’m not talking about when to put up the office Christmas decorations - they went up in October … (just kidding). I’m talking about when to wheel out our predictions for video trends in 2019.

Well, the last day of November seems like a happy compromise, so here are three areas of video that we expect to see large growth in 2019.

None of them are actually ‘new’, but they are video types you will be seeing more of in the forthcoming 12 months, driven - certainly in two cases- by social networks.

So what are they:

1. Native video on social platforms

Native videos - a fancy name for videos uploaded directly to social platforms -  have been with us for a number of years now, particularly on Facebook.

But where they were once dominated by ‘hilarious videos featuring cats’ we’re seeing more and more charities, trade associations, think tanks and businesses using native videos to communicate their messages.

Square videos, with a 1:1 aspect ratio, take up more screen space on social media

Square videos, with a 1:1 aspect ratio, take up more screen space on social media

While Facebook led the way, other social networks have caught up, investing heavily in the ability to ‘natively’ host videos so their users no longer clicked off to YouTube and other video sites.

Of the three principle platforms our customers are concerned with - Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn - the latter was the latest to the party, finally enabling native video posting for Company Pages in April this year.

Just because this functionality is there, however, doesn’t mean everybody is using it. And it is still not uncommon to see YouTube links being shared on these social platforms.

As the engagement levels of natively posted video content become widespread knowledge we would expect to see this change, and to see increasing numbers of native video posts.

This will also be helped by features such as ‘publish to social’, introduced by the likes of Wistia and Vimeo, which are making publishing video to a range of networks much easier.

Social platforms want you to watch video, because they can sell their most lucrative advertising alongside it. Their algorithms are set up to make video a success, and this is borne out in the stats. Videos are 6 times more likely to be retweeted than images for example.

We also expect to see increasing numbers of videos with a 1:1 aspect ratio - or square video, like the above example - because they take up 78% more space than widescreen format videos, and are more attention grabbing as a result.

These are stats you can’t ignore, and we expect them to grow in 2019.

2. Live streaming …. via social networks

Live video or live streaming is definitely not new. It’s been a feature of the internet since faster broadband speeds allowed it to be.

But what’s changed in recent years and provides reason for us to believe it is set to grow significantly in 2019 is way in which it has been backed by … yep, you’ve guessed it, social platforms (and we include YouTube in this).

Social networks offer a ready-made broadcast channel for live video

Social networks offer a ready-made broadcast channel for live video

While the medium isn’t new, the broadcast channel is. If you have a large group of Facebook, Twitter or Instagram followers, or YouTube subscribers, you have a ready-made audience for your live videos.

Statistics show that users spend 3 times longer watching live videos than pre-recorded videos. And after breaking news, conferences (and concerts) are the second most watched form of live videos - suggesting a latent demand for ‘live’ work-related, professional content.

Live video doesn’t necessarily require high-production values. Filming and broadcasting directly from your mobile phone is authentic and perfectly adequate for all bar your high profile pre-publicised conferences and events, where you’ll want a reliable live streaming set-up.

3. Interactive video

Now for a video trend the social networks don’t have their greasy palms all over … well not yet anyway. Interactive video is the third and final area we have highlighted for growth in 2019.

A key rationale for choosing to use video ahead of static images and text is the higher levels of engagement it affords.

Interactive video takes this to the next level by asking them questions, by letting them choose what happens next, or just by allowing them to choose what they view from within the video.

And with the existence of services like Dot.vu, creating interactive videos isn’t even that complicated nor even needs to be planned in advance (though it is always advisable to do so).

Such services enable you to add an interactive layer to the video, so that if you want to test the viewers’ knowledge of the video as they watch, simply add a few quiz questions. This can be great for gamification or training purposes.

Interactive quiz videos can be used to test knowledge

Interactive quiz videos can be used to test knowledge

Branching videos give viewers more control over what they’re watching

Branching videos give viewers more control over what they’re watching

Branching videos on the other hand give viewers the opportunity to choose what they want to see at a particular point of a video. This can work in two ways: by giving them a simple ‘left’ or ‘right’ choice in what they want to see next; or by giving them a full menu of choices over what they want to see. The former has potential for ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ style video formats, while the latter would be great for explaining different parts of a report or process.

Organisations who use interactive video will be seen as ‘innovative’, while offering heightened engagement and an added level of user control; which is why we expect to see much more of this style of video in 2019.

By Nathan Coyne