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Ellen Hammett 

Facebook wants to become a "non-stop video platform" by 2018

Facebook wants to become a "non-stop video platform" by 2018

Facebook's agency partner in the UK has said the social media platform wants to become a "non-stop, immersive video platform" by 2018, as it looks to create "experiences" that mean users never have to leave the newsfeed.

Signalling that the platform wants to develop a more TV-like experience for short-form content, the move is being fuelled by the steep rise in video consumption.

Speaking at Mediatel's Videoscape 2016, hosted at Bloomberg, Nick Callaghan (pictured) said that Facebook users who watch and share high volumes of video content will begin to see much more of it in their newsfeed over the next two years.

"Some people give us the signals that they don't enjoy as much video - and those people won't get served as much," Callaghan told Newsline. "But those who did give the signals that they love video will simply get more and more of it."

"We're not saying that we're going to flick a switch in 2018, but eventually we'll move into a space where for certain people it will become a non-stop video platform."

Facebook currently gets around 8 billion video views a day, up from 1 billion just two years ago. Mobile devices continue to play an increasingly vital role in that consumption - as well as accounting for almost 80% of Facebook's total advertising revenue.

Confirming that Facebook's rival to live-streaming platform Periscope - dubbed Facebook Live - is a "number one product priority", Callaghan added that the rise of new formats, such as 360 degree and 'boomerang' video, means brands are beginning to think beyond the the status quo and engage Facebook users in new and compelling ways.

"We're only at the start but we're seeing brands doing some really interesting things and actually give a bit of control to the person watching it - so they can choose what they see next and what part of the story they go to," Callaghan said.

"Anything you can do to stop someone's thumb on some content that leaps out in their newsfeed - that's what brands are trying to do."

Callaghan also said he was keen to work with the likes of ITV, the UK's largest commercial broadcaster, as they both begin to operate in the same video ecosystem.

This was backed up by ITV's commercial content director, Gary Knight, who said: "As Facebook moves into a more TV-like experience on its platforms, we want to be a part of that experience - friend or foe, we'll find a way to work together."

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