Lawsuit: "pivoting to video" was a disaster led by Facebook's cooked viewing data


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/10/17/lawsuit-pivoting-to-video.html


#2

Silver lining detected.


#3

We never pivoted to video, obviously, but it’s funny how when I’d post a video, this pattern would emerge:

YouTube: 12,520 views, 750 comments
Facebook: 275,780 views, 26 comments

nothingmatters.gif


#4

Is that because Facebook ads autoplay as you scroll past them, so FB is able to record impressions as views?


#5

That would be my guess…

Hell, as a user, the autoplay videos had me scrolling past things faster, because the video would stop the second they were off screen.


#6

It’s easy to feel smug for never creating a facebook account (although, lets face it, I was mainly just being a contrary arsehole), but some days I feel smug-er than others.


#7

Making video content is not inherently a bad thing, the problem here (that i fail to feel sorry for these publishers) is that a good majority of the companies that pivoted to video were just chasing the views. And while the views matter one should be focused on creating something worthwhile and build up a viewership, but seems that a lot of publishers took FBs koolaid and were just looking for easy money.


#8

I came here desperately hoping “pivoting to video” was a compulsory element of all future OS updates that would force phone users to turn their phones sideways before video recording would work. Disappointed.


#9

This actually makes me kind of happy. I felt like such an Old because I hate the “pivot to video” and would prefer to read, rather than have someone else read to me over a bunch of stock footage and bad music. Now I don’t feel so bad :smile:


#10

It does kinda make a person wonder what Facebook might have been if its leadership had been ethical and motivated by doing some good for its users (products) and making a modest amount of money rather than totally unethical wherever ethics stood in the way of even one additional dollar of revenue or compromised anything they thought its customers (advertisers) might have wanted.


#11

I have to wonder about the wisdom of business’s making major changes to their plan based off FB before seeing actual evidence.
Also, Oblig:


#12

Whether it’s the products (users) or the actual customers (advertisers), FB is all about screwing them over if it means more money in Zuck’s pockets.


#13

I almost never watch videos. When I consume text-based (or static image) content, I am in control of how much attention and time I want to spend on it. Video demands I cede that control, stop whatever else I’m doing and pay attention to it for however long it lasts, and honestly the information transmission rate is far slower than what my brain wants.

There are some things that video is the best medium for - certain crafting tutorials, for example - but when I check the news in the morning, I ignore 99% of the videos.


#14

For me it highly depends on what the content is. If its conversational or discussion/interview based then its perfect for me to put on while i’m doing something else since i don’t have to actively watch it (i basically consume it as if it were a podcast). But if its something more visual then i do have to carve out time for it.


#15

I’m the same.

I would note, though, that even if video is the best medium for a particular topic, a bad video may still not be worth watching. The same goes for audio only formats (podcasts.)

At least you can scan a bad piece of text and quickly identify and reject it.


#16

So not only does Facebook screw over its users product, it also screws over its actual customers.

Sounds like a recipe for long term success to me. (/s)


#17

Not that bad to identify video i have no interest in quickly. I can usually tell within a few seconds of hitting play if its not for me. If i’m unsure i might skip ahead, give it another 5-10 seconds.


#18

Facebook’s internal efforts behind the scenes reflect a company mentality of reckless indifference toward the accuracy of its metrics…

In Trump’s America? Impossible!


#19

They were collared on how they estimated ‘view’ times. The rot is that ‘views’ are an easily-sold but weakly-evidenced metric, so views of a certain length came quietly to be the quantity with a quality of its own. In light of that, to then realize that Facebook was cooking that specific number is to realize that Facebook is cooking you. Countless UX factors complicate and obscure the basic reality of things, it’s true. But when the errors are always in the bank’s favor, you eventually have to realize that it’s not obscure to the bank.


#20

This whole thing is like a rambling morality play about the dumbness of betting the farm on whatever other people say is the future. I never understood why non-Facebook businesses blithely accept that Facebook must and will replace the entire internet. As for Facebook itself… just because there is a place for video doesn’t mean there is room in the world for exactly one type of content; video does not replace text (or audio for that matter).

Actually, I often wonder if online video is even sustainable in its current form. It is very expensive to host video compared to anything else, and paying for that with ads is a zero-sum game; if you’re half the size of YouTube, you won’t make anywhere near half their revenue, and even YouTube appears to have a hard time ramming enough ads into people’s eye sockets. I suspect a lot of online video is being paid for directly by investors’ cash.