2013 saw the continued rise in the popularity of online video, with mobile devices accounting for more and more content consumption. The BBC iPlayer now delivers over one third (37%) of its content to mobile, and this general trend of more and longer consumption on mobile will continue next year.

Research shows that consumers are now viewing a wide range of content on a multitude of devices. However beyond the diversity of devices there is an interesting trend in the way Social Media is helping content be discovered and consumed.

With this in mind, Jake Ward, Business Development Director, Groovy Gecko looks at how Social Media and video content will develop in 2014

Social as a platform

Social media is already a huge source of referrals to online video content, but Twitter, Facebook and others are now becoming platforms for the delivery of both live and on-demand content .

Throughout 2014 we will see social media becoming a central part of many online video projects, and this will be across a wide range of audiences.

Social media provides a ready-made platform for engagement with audiences and video being viewed through social media platforms shows much longer viewing times when compared to general online video.

Google + as a growing video platform

One of the tools that will be significant in driving the use of video is Google Hangouts. A key component of Google + it allows up to 15 users to appear in a live video chat which others can watch over YouTube Live or on Google +. The audience can also message people directly involved in the Hangout to interact with them.

As a platform Hangouts have made a good start but there is still untapped potential.

This will change in 2014. Many companies have started using Hangouts externally and internally for meeting and this usage will continue to grow.

The ability to use the platform to delivery truly interactive experience to the audiences and easily syndicate the content to third party websites will drive its adoption and growth in 2014.

Helpouts may become a truly useful tool

Google Helpouts launched in mid-November and offers users the capability to find experts who can offer them live advice in a one-to-one Hangout style environment. The Helpout service offers expertise for free or at a 'per consultation' rate covering a wide range of topics from electronics to health.

Initially I predict this being used in two ways. First, if there is sufficient user footfall I can see businesses switching support staff to the service, where being able to see the user's problem may help solve the issue quicker. In addition organisations, such as charities will also begin to use the platform to see if it helps engage their stakeholders.

Secondly there will of course be a number of stunt uses of the platform. For example imagine a user looking for advice on sports coaching for their under 11s boy football team.

They have a choice of getting through to David Beckham on a pitch talking about free kick practice. One of the advantages of the platform is that you can capture both sides of the conversation and use it in advertising and PR material.

The year ahead

2014 certainly looks set to be an interesting year as video use continues to grow. With online video and social media getting even closer with services like Twitter hoping to become a key component of TV viewing recommendation it will be a year when businesses will have to look at not only how they delivery more live video content but also how they make it more relevant, easier to find and through interactivity, more engaging.

  • Jake is Business Development Director at Groovy Gecko responsible for managing key accounts as well as further expanding the company's reach into new markets and territories.