SnapStream Blog

2020: The Year of Video Proof

January 22 2021 by Monty Mitra

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.

Content Meets Context: The Power of Video with Aaron Rupar

October 15 2020 by Juliette Richert
Since graduating recently from Rice University, guest writer Juliette Richert is continuing her education by listening to as many podcasts about politics, culture, and society as she can get her hands on.

Given Aaron Rupar’s half a million Twitter followers, his work is obviously popular, but why? As a millennial, I haven’t turned on cable TV in more than 5 years. Like much of my generation and the country, I get my news from the Internet and social media. Using short videos to share news stories on his Twitter feed and in his writing with Vox, Rupar connects Internet and social media users to the world of TV watchers, shedding light on the filter through which much of America receives news and information.

In 2017, Rupar was working as a journalist with Center for American Progress and had only a couple of thousand followers. That number has since soared after his “John Kelly” post (as seen below) was retweeted more than six thousand times, the most retweets he had received up until that point. This successful tweet propelled Rupar from a meager 4K Twitter followers to nearly half of a million, a 10x increase in followers over the past 3 years.

Kelly, by rupar

John Kelly on Fox

Rupar is now an associate editor for politics and policy at Vox, an avid Twitter user, and self-labeled liberal. He’s refined his beat from politics to primarily Congress, the Republican party, and Trump. Rupar publishes short pieces for Vox nearly every day, designed to give context around current events. His quick response time, sense of humor, and easy-to-read writing style make Rupar a strong reporter. Rupar’s Twitter feed, which he updates more than 30 times a day, has a critical and often satirical take on politics and the White House.

His most popular tweet from each thread gives a brief look at what people found interesting or important, but his long threads give you the chance to dig into the details of the event minute-by-minute, without ever having to watch the whole thing. Rupar’s Twitter feed is fun to explore, and you can easily get lost in rabbit hole-threads. Along with entertainment value, his work provides access to video that many people might not see otherwise.

Rupar feed clipped

Scrolling through Rupar's feed

Rupar’s time on Twitter and his success as a journalist at Vox have a symbiotic relationship. His Twitter following has helped Vox by indirectly growing their audience and increasing traffic. In order to make his Twitter threads, Rupar has to trim down longer videos. This process allows Rupar to engage with news as he live-tweets and construct rough outlines of his written pieces for Vox. In his writing, Rupar frequently uses short videos pulled from his Twitter-feed to contextualize the topic, providing audio and visual context that is difficult to replicate with words alone.

 

“With Trump everything is a spectacle, so it lends itself to video.” - Aaron Rupar

 

Videos provide context for the viewer to experience and understand the news, according to Rupar. Rupar’s discovery of SnapStream in 2017 was well-timed with the presidency. Trump is the most frequent face seen on Rupar’s feed (rivaled now only by his new daughter, Mia). Trump’s wild oratorical style and polarizing statements certainly help Rupar catch the attention of his audience. However, Rupar is confident that when Trump leaves office (whether that be in 4 more years or a couple months), there will still be high demand for news clips on Twitter.

 

“It’s one thing to have an opinion on politics, but if you have the video with it…people like to see people saying things” - Aaron Rupar

 

Why are some people ditching TV and paying attention to shorter clips of news? News consumers feel pressed for time and are exhausted by the current news cycle, so shorter clips are a quick way to consume news. If a video isn’t interesting enough, I’ll skip around to find the highlights. Rupar basically does that work for you.

Social media is also crafted to keep us moving down the feed, consuming as many posts as possible. Instead of competing with other TV stations, reporters now compete with puppy videos and memes for their audience’s attention. Best to make your post eye-catching and to-the-point in order to grab back their attention. Plus, there’s something priceless about seeing things for yourself.

Trump, mispronounce rupar

President Trump at a rally in September

Video isn’t going anywhere because it gives you and your audience the ability to make up your own mind. How are you giving your audience the context they deserve?

 

The WatchESPN App is Gone. Now What?

December 18 2019 by Tina Nazerian

Developers               Loudness Graph_Dec_5.                          watch-espn-logo (1)                     

Earlier this year, ESPN killed its WatchESPN App. Now, all of ESPN’s streaming content is bundled into the ESPN app.

You might have been using the WatchESPN App to screen grab content you could then post to your sports team’s social media page. You can’t do that with the main ESPN app—it detects when users are trying to screen grab content. However, there’s a way you can still clip and share your sports team’s memorable moments—with SnapStream.

 

Clip & Share Moments from Live Video & Broadcast TV  

St. Louis Blues-Stanley-Cup-Tweet (1)

With SnapStream, you can clip and share any moment from broadcast TV and your own live video feeds. Specifically, you can create screenshots and frame-accurate GIFs and video clips. Then, with just a few clicks, you can email that content to anyone, or instantly post it to Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. 

 

Make Clipping & Sharing a Collaborative Process

image1

   image3-2

If you and your colleagues are live tweeting one of your team’s games, you can do so collaboratively—for example, you can divide up the work so that certain people create clips, and others look at those clips and decide which ones to post. SnapStream makes it easy to have that kind of workflow. It enables users to set clip points, and create and save bookmarks of those clips. Then, your colleagues can access those bookmarks and choose which ones to post.

 

Crop Clips for Instagram & Snapchat

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SnapStream makes having Instagram and Snapchat-ready posts easy. There’s no need to use an additional editing tool. You can create screenshots, GIFs, and video clips with square dimensions, 9:16 dimensions, 16:9 dimensions, and 4:3 dimensions right within SnapStream.


SnapStream makes live video and  broadcast TV social. Our technology lets users instantly capture, create, and share video clips, GIFs, and screenshots to Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, as well as create square and vertical clips for Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. SnapStream's customers include BuzzFeed, Major League Soccer, and the Arizona Coyotes.

Impactful Live-Tweeting Strategies We Saw From the First Round of the Democratic Debates

June 27 2019 by Tina Nazerian

2020 Democratic Candidates Debate - Night No. 1 - 09_02_34 PM                                                                                                                                                          Photo Credit: SnapStream 

The race for the 2020 presidential election is well underway. Ten candidates took the stage in Miami on Wednesday night for the first round of the Democratic debates. While the candidates wrangled their thoughts and policy positions, news outlets were hard at work capturing every interesting comment and meme-able reaction. Here are some impactful live-tweeting strategies the SnapStream team saw some of our media customers use Wednesday night. 

 

Let One Reporter Take Over Your Twitter Account

BuzzFeed News streamlined its live-tweeting of the first round of Democratic Debates by letting reporter Ryan Brooks, who covers the Democrats, take over its Twitter account. Brooks quickly delivered some great content to the 1.3 million Twitter accounts that follow BuzzFeed News. 

 

 

Capture and Caption Funny Moments

When Beto O’Rourke started speaking Spanish to answer his first question, many people noticed Cory Booker’s reaction. The Daily Show instantly grabbed the perfect image of the moment, added a hilarious caption, and put it on Twitter. The post has been liked more than 60,000 times, and retweeted more than 11,000 times. 

 

 


Enhance Your Video Clips with Analysis

Politico also tweeted about O’Rourke speaking Spanish for part of his first response. But rather than focusing on Booker’s reaction, the organization took a different approach. It tweeted out a video clip of the moment, and added quotes from two of its staff members above the video. Politico’s Twitter followers not only got to immediately watch the scene on their devices, but they also got to read two very different takes on it. The video has gotten over 35,000 views. 

 

Tonight, 10 other Democratic candidates will have their turn. Which live-tweeting strategies will your team use? 


SnapStream makes TV social. Our technology lets users instantly capture, create, and share quality video clips, GIFs, and images to a variety of social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook. 

The results are in! SnapStream is the father... of Maury's fan engagement.

November 10 2016 by Sara Howard

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If you're not following The Maury Show on Twitter, you're missing out on some quality entertainment. The show has been around since 1991, and just aired it's 3,000th episode. The success of The Maury Show isn't waning anytime soon as they continue to make strides via social media and fan engagement. 

Paul Faulhaber is the executive producer of The Maury Show and realizes the importance of social media in the daytime television landscape.  He decided to bring in Snapstream as a tool for the digital producers, Eric Hanson and Kristin Scheele, to grow the social media presence of The Maury Show.

Kristin and Eric spoke with us about how The Maury Show is harnessing the passion of their fans to deliver real-time engagement

Q: Can you tell me a little about your role at NBCUniversal?

Kristin: I am a field producer and one of the digital producers. Eric is the head person and I help him create original content for our different social platforms. I do a lot of behind the scenes shooting during tape days and create original content with that. I also helping with the daily social posts, whether it's grabbing funny moments off of SnapStream and posting them or creating GIFs, memes, things like that.

Eric: My role is to take the content from the show and bring it to the second and third screen. Taking what the viewers experience in live TV and putting it on social. Allowing the viewers another way to experience the show.



"My role is to take the content from the show and bring it to the second and third screen... 
Allowing the viewers another way to experience the show." 

- Eric, Producer, The Maury Show


Q: How did SnapStream get implemented at The Maury Show?

Eric: Paul Faulhaber, the Executive Producer of Maury, was instrumental in incorporating SnapStream into the show.  Paul gets social media and the value it adds to our show.  When he first introduced us to SnapStream we were sold.

Kristin: Paul was so excited about Snapstream, it was contagious.  We were fired up and couldn’t wait to incorporate it into our workflow.

Q:
What does your social workflow look like?

Eric: We're kind of like a big "think tank". We throw out ideas, between the whole staff. We actively encourage everyone from the producers to the interns and the office managers to help us come up with ideas on what to post. But ultimately, I decide with our Executive Producer, Paul Faulhaber, how and when we'll encorporate that into our platform.

Q: How does SnapStream fit into this workflow?

Kristin: Over the summer, every day we would do a live chat on Twitter which we used SnapStream for. We would pull stills from the show, creating GIFs, using the live Twitter feed. 

SnapStream is a valuable tool for us. We have three other shows in Stamford (where we're located) and they can't wait to start using it as well. We (The Maury Show) has been used a guinea pig, but it's gone so well.

Q: What other aspects/features of SnapStream do you find the most useful for Maury?

Kristin: One of the other major things that we do is put clips directly onto our Facebook page from SnapStream. It's great that SnapStream includes the closed captioning, native in the video. 

We also have an agreement with Amazon Fire, so we upload clips from SnapStream into YouTube, and that aggregates directly to our Amazon Fire account.

Eric: SnapStream has been really wonderful because we incorporate anything we want to use in our social workflow. It also allows us to stay really engaged with our fans. Content is king, and our viewers want new content, fresh content. We may be airing back episodes, but we can still create fresh social content with those episodes. 

Kristin: The search function has really been helpful. We're starting "Out of Control Teen Tuesday" this week. Now that we have a backlog of Maury shows built up in the SnapStream library, we can go in there and do a search for "out of control teens". We can see every show that we've done that includes that search term and post it directly to our social media platforms. 

We have a lot of moving parts here, and everyone is so busy. So instead of having to ask other producers or managers to go search for a clip, we can just do a quick search in SnapStream, grab it and share it. 

Eric: Another thing that we do with SnapStream is grab stills from the platform and use them in our weekly "caption this" contest. 

Q: What was the workflow like before you had SnapStream?

Eric: It was very cumbersome. We'd have to have someone go to the editing bay, mark clips, have them pulled. Then we wait 24-48 hours to have someone pull them, mark them and send them to us. 

Now, as I watch the show, I'm pulling and archiving clips, deciding when and where I can use them. A lot of people are incredibly thankful for SnapStream, because it makes our jobs so much easier.



"We were able to go into SnapStream to find all the clips of Searcy and pull those. We can continue the conversation, adding more content to fuel the fire."

- Eric, Producer, The Maury Show


 

Q: Can you think of any particular posting or episode where SnapStream was instrumental?

Eric: We just celebrated our 3,000th episode, so we played a lot of Maury's favorite episodes and guests through the years. We would pull those directly from SnapStream and share via social. 

A lot of times when something goes viral, it's not always because of us. For instance, a reddit user said one of our guests looked like Ted Cruz. So, we were able to go into SnapStream to find all the clips of Searcy and pull those. We can continue the conversation, adding more content to fuel the fire. 

Kristin: We love seeing how creative people can be with our clips.

Eric: Since we've introduced SnapStream into our platforms, it's really revitalized our social presence. It really makes us stand out in comparison to other shows. We have this immediacy that sometimes other shows lack.

It's nice to have a library, or an archive of our shows. Sometimes something will go viral that we didn't even think about. A lot of times,  you just don't know what is going to hit. Now we can go back in and add that extra content to the conversation, engaging with our followers and our fans. 



"Since we've introduced SnapStream into our platforms, it's really revitalized our social presence. It really makes us stand out in comparison to other shows."


 

GIF the debates and the fun never stops!

March 07 2016 by Eric Cohn
trump.jpg

The 2016 presidential election cycle has been as unpredictable as any election in recent memory with over 20 sanctioned debates, numerous “town hall” discussions and countless candidate speeches. News organizations have been overwhelmed with an unprecedented volume of visual content to share with their viewers.

While debates have been broadcast on television since 1960 (the famous Kennedy-Nixon debates), there has been a seismic shift in the way the presidential debates have been covered in the media this election cycle. The New York Times said it best: political GIFs have become the new sound bites of the 2016 campaign season.

Animated GIFs have been synonymous with coverage of the 2016 presidential race. Whether it is Donald Trump making exasperated faces at his opponents or Hillary Clinton seemingly wiping dirt “off her shoulder,” these instantly shareable bite-sized moments have helped amplify and focus attention on the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates running.

SnapStream makes it simple for organizations to take a moment from television, create an animated GIF and post it to their social media accounts in just seconds. 

Live-tweeting of this election cycle has made it easier than ever to follow along with candidate events in near-real time. It also allows the organizations sharing the content to frame the conversation in the language of the social network on which it is being shared. 

Savvy media and political organizations have jumped on the GIF bandwagon and are sharing moments from the debates and other election events, creating incredibly engaging and viral content while informing their readers about the candidates and issues.

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, an animated GIF could fill a volume!

We live in a world of autoplay (or 'Tips for creating video on Twitter & Facebook')

February 24 2016 by Rakesh

In this summer's earning call, Facebook Founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, said, “If you go back ten years, most of how people communicated was through text. We’re entering into a period where that’s increasingly going to be video and we’re seeing huge growth there.”

zuckerberg.png

The numbers show it:

  • In November 2015, Facebook reported 8 billion daily video views (and in April 2015, the same stat was 4 billion daily video views).
  • In January 2016, Facebook announced that 100 million hours of video are watched in Facebook daily.

So the arc of this is very clear.  We started with text and moved to images and now we're heading to video.

In the same earnings call last month, Facebook pointed out that, “people watch video differently in mobile newsfeed than on TV”.  As video dominates Twitter and Facebook, what are the new rules?

  • Make sure you’re videos are uploaded natively: Linking to a YouTube video from Twitter or Facebook? It’s only going to get a fraction of the views and engagement that a native video will.  Post your videos natively to Facebook and Twitter so they autoplay and play with no lag time or extra clicks.
  • Start out strong: Try to win the viewer’s attention within the first few seconds. Those first few seconds are your video’s email subject line or newspaper headline. Some examples from NowThisNews

    Screen_Shot_2016-02-24_at_9.17.54_AM_2.png

    Screen_Shot_2016-02-24_at_9.18.52_AM.png

    Screen_Shot_2016-02-24_at_9.16.51_AM_2.png
  • Add text overlays to your video: Since videos automatically play without sound, you can’t rely on sound to draw in the viewer. So... overlay text on top of your video.  The text needs to be short and crisp and choreographed with the video. My favorite example of this are the news videos made by NowThis. Or take a look at the cooking videos by Tip Hero. Here are a few examples:



  • Upload closed captioning to your videos (Facebook videos only): An alternative to adding text overlays, Facebook allows you to upload close captioning with your videos. Closed captioning is displayed by default when a video autoplays so your video can be experienced without turning on the sound.  Here’s what this looks like: 

    IMG_4709.png

    How do you get the SubRip closed captioning file (.SRT) for your video?  A few choices:
    • Use a third party video captioning / transcription service-- there are lots of them out there, a baseline cost estimate is $1 / minute of video.
    • Caption your video yourself-- I’ve used a few different third party SRT creation tools. Aegisub is one of them that's free and open source. Aegisub let you type the text in as your video plays back. It takes a little bit of work, but it's not bad. Pay attention to the size of each block of text-- too short or too long and it'll be hard for the viewer to follow along.
    • Use SnapStream (if you’re uploading TV clips)-- If the videos you’re uploading are TV clips (like the Daily Show or the Colbert Report), use SnapStream. We automatically pass-through closed captioning when you create a TV clip and post it to Facebook.

What is SnapStream? There's an unlimited amount of video content out there: 24/7 news channels, breaking news events, sports, talk shows, awards galas, entertainment shows, and so much more.

SnapStream makes a real-time news and media search engine that makes it fast and easy to find the video moments that support our customers telling great stories.

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