Half of users’ time on Meta platforms is now spent on video

In a recent speech at the ‘Hello Tomorrow’ conference in London, Meta’s group director, Sophie Neary, claimed that younger users are embracing video content on Meta’s platforms.

Now, Meta claims younger audiences are embracing the company’s platforms, rather than deserting them.

Meta continues to argue that the consumption habits of different age groups have created the perception that younger users are leaving their platforms. However, the company believes these users are actually just engaging with the platforms differently and are now ‘all-in’ on video.

What did Sophie Neary say?

In her speech, Neary stated that half of the content consumed across Meta’s platforms – primarily Facebook and Instagram – is now of video content.

She added that “when we look at the data – independent third-party data – we have a larger share of the young audience than any other social media platform. When I first joined Meta just over two years ago, there were 41 million people on Facebook every month in the UK. Now there are 43 million. The way I like to think about it is that different generations use it differently.”

For Meta, countering that assumption that young users are abandoning Facebook in favour of TikTok is paramount given the significant headwinds the company is facing in terms of advertising spend.

While forecasts are that digital ad spend will continue to increase, Meta is no longer as well-placed to benefit as it once could: it is facing issues regarding data processing following an EU ruling. It is also still being affected by Apple’s privacy changes.

Neary told the conference that Meta is currently in a good place to take advantage of its users’ increasing time spent with video content. She stated that 140bn Reels are shared every day and that the largest cohort among the site’s reach of 72% of the UK population are in the 18-34-year-old demographic.

Meta’s focus on video content – the view from Spike

Whether Meta can position its platforms as the home of video content remains to be seen. After all, TikTok has carved out a niche in this space. Plus, this rival platform is particularly attractive to Facebook’s core 18-34-year-old demographic. Added to this, investors and advertisers remain unconvinced that these core users are not deserting the company.

Another consideration when it comes to Meta’s overall focus is the company’s continued investment in metaverse technology. Realistically, Neary believes that regular use of technology is still 5-10 years away. As a result, Meta has recently reinvested in its ‘traditional’ products once again. That said, Mark Zuckerberg has already reiterated his commitment to spending billions of dollars developing the metaverse in spite of investor concerns and plummeting share prices.

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