Evolution of Short Form Video Marketing

March 18, 2022

Evolution of Short Form Video Marketing

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Short form video has taken over social media and if you don’t believe me, try scrolling through Instagram or Facebook for even a second, without seeing one autoplay on your feed. Short form videos have become so popular that even platforms like Linkedin and Pinterest have incorporated them into their user-experience. Videos work so well because they provide information in a fast and easy way, and this has created a need for frequent and constant video content creation from businesses. To better grasp this trend, let’s take a quick scroll through memory lane, at the key milestones that have occurred over the past 20 years, leading to the rise of short form video.

video marketing evolution

Short form video in the early 2000’s 

The early 2000’s brought life to some of today’s most widely used social media sites and saw the beginning and end of others. In 2003, MySpace launched, followed by Facebook 6 months later. These social media platforms revolutionized the way we connect, giving people a world-wide digital space to come together and share everything from family photos, to their relationship status. In 2005, Reddit entered the scene, followed by Twitter in 2006. While these online networking spaces inevitably included the option to watch and share video content, short form videos’ potential hadn’t yet been realized. Even in 2010 when Instagram made its debut, it did so as a photo sharing platform; in fact, posting video content wasn’t even an option. 

First short form video apps 2013

Fast-forward to 2013 when social media saw major changes in the way content would be enjoyed.

Short form video captured the attention of millions with one of the fastest growing apps of it’s time. Vine was released in January 2013, and made it easy for people to create, view, and post a short looping video, all from their smartphone. The one caveat was that Vine videos were restricted to just 6 seconds in length. With this limitation, a precedent was set; there was no need to have high budget effects or professionally shot footage because the purpose of these short form videos was to share a quick, funny or entertaining video sequence. Vine made it possible for people with no previous experience, to make unique and sometimes even viral content. With this short form video app grabbing the attention of so many users, other social sites took notice. Facebook implemented the video autoplay feature, making it nearly impossible to ignore a video on your newsfeed, and by June 2013, Instagram introduced the ability to record and share videos up to 15 seconds long. 

Rise of video on social media 2014 – 2017

In 2014, with short form video content captivating social media users all over the world, Musical.ly (later to become TikTok) launched, allowing users to create short (15 second to 1 minute long), lip-syncing, music videos. In just a few years, short form videos had become a huge part of the social media ecosystem and could be created, posted, and viewed on most platforms. Soon influencers, and even celebrities were reaping the benefits of connecting with their audience and growing their fan base through releasing short form videos. 

In October 2016 the originator of true short form video content, Vine, saw its demise; partially due to the lack of creator support in terms of monetization or advertising options, and partially due to the restriction of 6 second videos, when other platforms allowed a bit more time to get a story or message out through video. This was the same year that Instagram launched Stories, which would become widely used over the next several years.

Shortly after that, in May 2017, the app Musical.ly, having over 200 million users, was acquired by Bytedance and merged into TikTok.

Todays short form video evolution 2020 – 2022

Today, short form video apps like TikTok and Instagram, have over 1 billion monthly active users. Even Snapchat created a feature to compete, called Spotlight in November 2020, that showcases the most popular Snaps across its community. YouTube also added YouTube Shorts as a short form video outlet that went public in March 2021, and received over 6.5 billion views in that first month alone!

Short form videos have become a significant part of people’s online experience and an essential way to gain brand exposure and build customer loyalty. When it comes to short form videos, consistency is a requirement to winning the attention of your consumers. While longer form videos created by traditional production companies still have a place in the marketing spectrum of a business, to stay top of your customer’s mind, you need an efficient way to produce video content often, and short form videos are the best way to do that. 

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Alli Saunders

Video Creator, YouTuber: Alli and Will

Alli runs several businesses including a Toronto based video production company and an online business that’s trained 150,000+ students in a wide range of courses. She has 7+ years of cinematography and editing experience producing corporate, web and commercial videos. Second to that, Alli has a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/alliandwill">YouTube channel</a> with her husband and business partner Will that’s focused on filmmaking, traveling, and a behind the scenes of their lifestyles.