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There’s no question that social video has become a critical part of online marketing. After all, Facebook alone has 8 billion video views per day, and Bloomberg reported that Snapchat had 10 billion video views per day as of April 2016. That’s not even counting all the other social media video formats on channels like Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
And if you think you’re seeing a lot of video in your social feeds now, hold onto your hat: Cisco predicts that online video traffic will increase three times from 2015 levels by 2020, so that video traffic will represent 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic within the next three years.
Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that more than 70 percent of U.S. marketers planned to use social video ads within the 12 months starting May 2016.
Of course when we talk about social video, we’re actually talking about several different things at once. While some types of video are designed to have a long shelf life, others are much more ephemeral, disappearing after only a day. Let’s look at the different social media video options beyond the standard native social video, and explore how to use them on the various social media platforms.
6 types of video for social media
Here’s a primer on each of the social media video formats, including the key technical details you need to create one for each network.
1. Live video
According to eMarketer, more than a third of internet viewers say they watch live video online, with Facebook Live as the most popular channel, followed by YouTube live streaming. Live video is also available on Twitter and Instagram.
Facebook Live Video
You can start a Facebook Live broadcast spontaneously, or schedule one for later. The commenting feature on Facebook Live Video makes it a great way to interact directly and authentically with your clients and fans.
- Resolution: Maximum 720p (1280 x 720), 30 frames per second
- Maximum bit rate: 4 mbps
- Minimum video length: None, but Facebook recommends 10 minutes
- Maximum video length: 4 hours
- Title length: Maximum 255 characters
Find the step-by-step instruction and some best practices for maximizing your audience, in our guide to Facebook Live video.
YouTube live video
Most technical requirements for YouTube live video are managed through a YouTube verified encoder. You’ll need to download one before you can post live video on YouTube.
The video below explains how to start your first stream.
You can also use Live Chat to interact with viewers—or allow them to interact with each other—during your stream, as explained in the video below.
Keep in mind that while the live video is archived after you finish broadcasting, the live chat is not.
Twitter live video
Twitter has owned the live-broadcasting app Periscope since before the latter even launched. But only in December 2016 did Twitter make Periscope’s live video functionality available to all Twitter users, without downloading the Periscope app.
For now, you can only live stream directly on Twitter from your smartphone. For more options—like the ability to stream from a professional camera or GoPro—you can send your stream to Twitter from the Periscope app, as we explain in our Periscope marketing guide.
To launch your live social video straight from Twitter, tap the compose icon, then Live. When you’re ready, tap Go Live to start broadcasting.
Instagram live video
Unlike live videos on the other social networks, Instagram live videos cannot be archived. Once the broadcast is over, the video is gone, so make sure you’re also recording to another source if you want to have something more permanent.
It’s pretty simple: you can share live video on Instagram from your smartphone with the latest version of the Instagram app. The maximum live video length is one hour.
To launch your live Instagram video, tap the camera icon in the top left corner of your screen or swipe right from your feed, then tap Start Live Video. The broadcast will appear in your Instagram Story.
We’ve also got posts where you can find step-by-step instructions for creating a YouTube account and learn how to get more YouTube video views.