Facebook Could Go All Video In 5 Years

Photo: Courtesy Facebook.
Speaking at a Fortune event this week, Nicola Mendelsohn, vice president for Facebook in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, said something shocking: Within the next five years, Facebook could go all video. The statement — and the theoretical change — makes sense, given the current Facebook landscape. As of November, Facebook users watch an astounding 8 billion videos each day. Facebook Live, its streaming platform, just had its biggest moment to date, with Chewbacca Mom reaching more than 50 million views in a single day (and more than 137 million views total). Facebook-owned Instagram has both rebranded itself and updated its app so it's more video-friendly. It's only natural then, with the pint-size camcorders in our pockets at all times, that Facebook would also evolve into a more video-centric landscape. And while (based on my News Feed, at least) it seems Facebook already has, I don't believe Facebook will go completely video — now or in the next five years. Obviously, Facebook capitalizes on the present — what you, your friends, and family are doing in the now. That started out with simple text updates, evolved into photo and text updates, and now, more and more of those posts include video. But Facebook, whether it likes it or not, is also a repository of memories. Its "On This Day" feature is proof of that. It may remind us of text or video memories, but more often than not, it shows us one of the more than 250 billion photos that have been uploaded to the social network. If Facebook abandons its roots by going "all video," it would, in essence, be abandoning all the memories it stores — your memories. But Facebook isn't just an all-encompassing website anymore. It's a suite of apps, each with a specific function. Like its Paper app for viewing news and magazine articles, what's to keep Facebook from releasing a new, future version of its News Feed that is focused entirely on videos, while retaining your old Facebook activity in another app? Facebook will definitely keep optimizing itself so that it's easier for you to watch and share videos, but it's not going to abandon the non-video memories you've already made (even if you would rather forget them).

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