85% of Facebook Video Watched Without Sound

A picture illustration shows a Facebook logo reflected in a person's eye, in Zenica, March 13, 2015. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic A picture illustration shows a Facebook logo reflected in a person's eye, in Zenica, March 13, 2015. REUTERS/DADO RUVIC

Around 85 percent of video watched on Facebook falls on deaf ears, with viewers choosing to keep most videos muted, according to research from multiple video publishers.

The site, which attracts around 8 billion views a day, currently uses a sound system that does not require users to turn up the volume, with many users publishing content designed for viewing without sound.

An example of this is the site LittleThings, which currently averages 150 million monthly views on its Facebook page, yet 85 percent of its viewership watches the content with the sound off.

Another popular news site with similar figures is Mic, which averages 150 million monthly Facebook views, but 85 percent of its views take place without sound.

Discussing the market strategy for video content, Gretchen Tibbits, chief operating officer for LittleThings said, “From day one, there pretty much has been the psychology that you have to catch their attention immediately.”

“But while the first three seconds are critical, the video also has to be designed to capture attention without needing sound,” said Tibbits.

According to MEC North America, a global advertising agency, most branded videos on Facebook are designed to attract viewers by the images alone.

“Sound is still an option [on Facebook], but it’s not required,” said Rye Clifton, director of the experienced advertising company GSD&M.

“If you can make something compelling without needing people to turn the audio on, you’re ahead of people who are not thinking that way.”

However, soundless advertising only works when the content is specifically designed for Facebook, and not when it is advertised across multiple channels.

“As a paid advertising channel, [Facebook] works sometimes, but it’s so important to have creative that meets the criteria of the platform — otherwise it can be a waste of money,” argued Nick Pappas, CEO of SwellShark.

You can follow Ben Kew on Facebook, on Twitter at @ben_kew, or email him at ben@yiannopoulos.net.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.