Viral Facebook pages are regularly sharing still images as videos - much to the confusion and annoyance of users everywhere. Here is why they do this…
While scrolling through your newsfeed, you come across a humorous meme. Upon tapping, you realise it’s a video and watch in utter confusion as transparent arrows fly nonchalantly around the frame. Then you utter the same question many of us have asked - “why is this a video?”
It’s a moment that has happened to everyone, and a question many of us have asked. Well, with many years of social media marketing experience under this writer’s belt, allow me to shed some light…
Turns out they may have been around longer than you think - first cropping up about May last year. They started appearing, because of the social networks affinity for video content. If you own a page, or have been anywhere near someone who owns a page, then chances are you know about Facebook’s favourability for different content types. The key one here is video, which receives 5x more engagement and a higher number of people reached.
Hell, I’ve reaped the benefits of this - seeing my page fan count rise rapidly and organic reach clock over into millions of people, thanks to videos.
Mix this with the virality of a particularly spicy image-based meme and you have a potential hit post on your hands. This is what many meme pages have been up to, adding the stock arrow animation to create an illusion of video for social media and trick Facebook's automated detection software of this content.
These viral content farms have been so relentless in exploring this tactic, users have rapidly turned sour on the deception.
So why continue to do so? Well, Facebook is a system and like any system, it can be gamed. Posting single images as videos is just one of a very long lineage of ways to artificially inflate the organic reach of your page.
Consider this my plea - please stop. If you own a page and post this type of content, please stop. No high amount of organic reach is worth the permanent tarnishing of one’s brand…
Don’t be Female Thoughts. You’re better than that.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.