2020: The Year of Video Proof

Video connects us. From lighthearted TikToks and Zoom happy hours to the sobering images from Black Lives Matter protests and the insurrection at the US Capitol, moments captured in video drive our conversations and shape our opinions.

The social isolation and turmoil of 2020 only reinforced the importance of meaningful connection and shared experiences. While we continue to be physically isolated from each other, journalism and technology have kept us current and engaged with the world around us. Reliable information has been crucial in the face of an ongoing global pandemic and tumultuous political climate.

However, bias and misinformation has called journalism’s ability to provide impartial, transparent information into question. With the very definition of truth up for debate, we saw a meaningful increase in video usage and viewership as people looked for ways to validate the news with their own eyes.

 

More Video Means More Video Clips

At SnapStream, we saw increases across all our usage metrics in 2020 – from video recording and search to clip production and social sharing.

SnapStream customers created 25% more clips compared to the prior year, with a significant uptick in the months preceding the presidential election. News outlets, think tanks, and other media providers leveraged key moments to inform and persuade voters as they navigated a relentless influx of both facts and fiction.

 

SnapStream Clips Created 2020 v. 2019

Chart showing SnapStream users clipped 25% more videos in 2020 than in 2019.

 

Tweets Featuring Video Improve Engagement by up to 3X

According to Reuters, “[2021] will be a year when text-based newsrooms invest more heavily in online audio and video content, in data journalism, as well as the snackable visual ‘stories’ that work well on social media.”

We already know people rely on social media to get their news. More than 70% of Twitter users say they use the network to stay informed. In 2020, the number of tweets posted with SnapStream featuring a video clip increased nearly 100% over the prior year.

 

SnapStream Tweets with Clips 2020 v. 2019

Chart showing SnapStream users created 100% more tweets featuring video clips in 2020 compared to 2019.

 

Tweets including video clips proliferated for a simple reason – they perform. Readers are far more likely to engage with social content powered by video proof.

 

Tweets with video receive:

  • 2X more likes

  • 3X more retweets

  • 2.5X more replies

 

Video proof gives the reader a level of context for the information they’re consuming that quotes or static images can’t match. As Graham Lampa of the Atlantic Council says, “Bite-sized pieces of easily consumable video content come packaged with incisive commentary that situates the source material within a broader political, cultural, and journalistic context.”

This tweet sent via SnapStream by Oliver Darcy generated ~500K engagements and 8.6M views

 

What’s in Store for 2021?

The pandemic and concerns about misinformation during 2020 has altered how we interact with the world. We’ve seen that these themes will continue well into 2021, which will keep journalism and news at the forefront. We expect usage of and engagement with video moments to continue to accelerate as video can uniquely help newsmakers deliver their audiences vital context quickly and maintain the engagement and connection we all crave.