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Executive Says Facebook Will Be All Video, No Text In 5 Years (mashable.com) 244

Kellen Beck, writing for Mashable: Video must be doing well on Facebook, because an executive at the company just predicted that's all Facebook will be in five years. Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook's vice president of European, Middle Eastern and African operations, said at a conference Tuesday that in five years, Facebook "will be probably all video," Quartz reported. Mendelsohn added that video is "the best way to tell stories in this world" and "helps us to digest much more information." Mendelsohn is predicting the obsolescence of the written word, at least on Facebook, according to Quartz. That sounds far-fetched, but consider the way Facebook is decreasing an emphasis on text and diving headfirst into video with numerous recent updates and features.
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Executive Says Facebook Will Be All Video, No Text In 5 Years

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  • haha (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @03:26PM (#52324117)

    how stupid

    • Every time Facebook (or anyone else) gets us to discuss some jaw-slacking eyeball-poking idea of theirs, God kills a kitten. Think of the kittens!

      What's sad is,
      1. No kittens died when turd brains proposed paperless voting machines with no receipt printers or paper record.
      2. No kittens died when the first car with power windows and no cranks was built.
      3. No kittens died when Firefox disabled the ESC key, which used to unconditionally abandon DNS lookups and shut down stalled network connections.
      4. Whole addi

  • Fuck that... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @03:27PM (#52324127)

    There are countless situations where it is easier and more appropriate to write a short text comment than to make sure you are presentable enough to record video of you saying something.

    All video... that is ridiculous.

    • Re:Fuck that... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tattood ( 855883 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @03:49PM (#52324325)
      This is quite true. If Facebook is all video, then that means people can no longer view Facebook at work, or any other place where you don't want to draw attention to yourself. The day Facebook is all video is the day their user base starts to drop.
      • Re:Fuck that... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Chalnoth ( 1334923 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @04:22PM (#52324609)
        There's also the point that it's typically far faster to read than it is to listen to a video.
        • Re:Fuck that... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by cfalcon ( 779563 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @04:40PM (#52324757)

          Reading is an order of magnitude faster than listening.

          • Re:Fuck that... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by fnj ( 64210 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @04:51PM (#52324833)

            Reading is an order of magnitude faster than listening.

            More importantly, the speed of reading is user controlled. Watching and listening is force feeding and the speed is controlled by somebody else.

            Reading is much faster than watching and listening - except for stupid people. Using Farcebook is already evidence of gross stupidity.

            • It's not about stupidity.

              There are some people with particular disabilities that make reading difficult (but have little to no impact on other thought processes). But either way, most people find reading both easier and faster than listening, and there are screen readers for those who have difficulty reading (incidentally, people who are used to listening to screen readers can set them to read at far, far faster rates than typical speech).

            • by jouassou ( 1854178 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @06:58PM (#52325531)

              Using Farcebook is already evidence of gross stupidity.

              I don't like Facebook the company, but I do have a Facebook account, and mainly use it because of the messenger feature. It's simply the easiest way to stay in touch with friends abroad, because almost everyone has an account, and most of them check it quite frequently.

          • Re:Fuck that... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @05:27PM (#52325067)

            I can also skim when reading, being able to skip straight to the important point. Most people when they pick up a book aren't reading the preface completely, or the copyright page, and so forth. They want to get to the good stuff. If you read a newspaper you're flipping through to the stories that are interesting, headlines that catch your attention. But with video you are stuck listening to a very slow talker who takes minutes to get to the point; and if it's youtube you have a horrible UI that doesn't let you skip forward or backward efficiently like you can with a DVR (don't know what facebook is like there but I doubt it's any better).

        • With any luck there will be no facebook in 5 years.
      • That day has already arrived.

    • Re:Fuck that... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tukz ( 664339 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @03:58PM (#52324397) Journal

      Have you seen the staggering amount of YouTube DIY Videos, that lasts for more than 10 minutes, but could be summarised in a paragraph of text?

      So many times when I am looking for solutions to a problem, I find hordes of videos explaining it, where a simple paragraph of text could have done the same thing.
      Why? I don't get it.

      It's much easier, and faster, to read some text than watching through a video of some guy explaining it with 4 different analogies.

      • It's much easier, and faster, to read some text than watching through a video of some guy explaining it with 4 different analogies.

        But it's much easier and faster to record 10 minutes of a video (only one take), and upload it, than condense your ideas down to a single paragraph. Why stress about which analogy to use if you can just say all four as fast as you think of alternatives?

      • Re:Fuck that... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @05:02PM (#52324909)

        Have you seen the staggering amount of YouTube DIY Videos, that lasts for more than 10 minutes, but could be summarised in a paragraph of text?

        So many times when I am looking for solutions to a problem, I find hordes of videos explaining it, where a simple paragraph of text could have done the same thing.
        Why? I don't get it.

        It's much easier, and faster, to read some text than watching through a video of some guy explaining it with 4 different analogies.

        Also the joy of fast-forwarding to try to find the step that you're stuck on and rewinding a few times because they blazed through it too fast or used a poor camera angle.

      • Re:Fuck that... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bozzy ( 992580 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @05:19PM (#52325021) Homepage

        A short, concise, thought-out video demonstration of a task can be more informative than pure text.

        However, most of these DIY videos are neither short nor well thought-out. Such videos take effort to produce.

        If you can't take the time to do a good job with a video, you'd save time by writing the simple paragraph. A maybe have a static image or two.

      • by dwywit ( 1109409 )

        My "how to" searches on google include a '-youtube'. Very few YT how-to videos are useful. I think YT account holders are trying to get noticed, so they'll get a slice of that sweet ad revenue.

      • You'n me, my friend, are of a dying breed.

        We can read.

      • Have you seen the staggering amount of YouTube DIY Videos, that lasts for more than 10 minutes, but could be summarised in a paragraph of text?

        That would be nearly all of them, or enough of them so as to make the other ones statistically insignificant.

    • If a video comes with a transcript, I just read the transcript, skip watching the video, and I am done in less than half the time. Although my friends/family rarely post videos on Facebook, it is always something inane and not worth watching, and I can tell it is inane just by reading the comments. No need to actually watch the video. If there is a real trend toward "more videos, less text", I have not seen it.

    • by dfm3 ( 830843 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @04:03PM (#52324431) Journal
      Text ads are all but worthless at this point, users are quickly becoming jaded by still image advertising, but an all-video platform provides more opportunities to present video ads which seem to be the latest rage. My cynical side firmly believes that's why Facebook has placed more emphasis on video content lately, and introduced features like autoplaying videos in the news feed.

      And yes, it's far-fetched to think that FB will be all-video at any point before they fade completely into irrelevancy. After all, it seems like virtually everything on my news feed at this point is links to clickbait websites, sappy inspirational quotes superimposed over stock photos, and "comment below then put this as your status" copypasta.
    • Re:Fuck that... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @04:13PM (#52324525)
      There are also countless situations where it is more appropriate to say nothing at all instead of writing a short text comment, but that hasn't seemed to stop most people who are constantly on Facebook or any form of social media for that matter.
    • by mrops ( 927562 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @04:18PM (#52324575)

      I couldn't quite understand that, do you have a video of that?

    • I'm not on it for all video all the time. mostly do NOT look at any.

    • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @04:21PM (#52324593) Journal

      I totally disagree. I'd NEVER read and write purely textual comments on any site.

    • Re:Fuck that... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ghostworks ( 991012 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @04:23PM (#52324615)

      endelsohn added that video is "the best way to tell stories in this world" and "helps us to digest much more information."

      A few more reason's that that's a stupid claim:

      I can read faster than my grandmother can speak. I can scan and skim faster than my friends can speak spread over 12 different videos.

      I can read at work without anyone noticing and without putting on headphones. I can type a response without anyone else being aware of it. I can even read text in a meeting.

      I can search for specific text.

      To pause "text with pictures", I stop paying attention; to resume, I start paying attention. Video will never be able to strip down a UI to that level of control.

      I can polish text in drafts. I can compose text in my underwear. Neither are true about recording a video.

      Speaking to her "best way to tell stories": as an example of how that's ridiculous, think about the resources it takes to film a season of Game of Thrones versus how much it took George R. R. Martin to write the book. People can get through the former faster and with less effort, but only only for the modest price of $6 million per hour. (Don't worry, once you get 8 million followers, that's not so bad per follower....)

      If her statement were true, it would basically mean that Facebook is dead, because YouTube already does video. It's a lot easier to staple social functionality onto a video site than it is to press video into a social site.

      You think the way text messages have nearly done away with voice calls and voicemail between friends would be a clue that most people prefer text to listening. And that's what amateur video usually is: a talking head in a bedroom.

      If everything is a video, things that have to be a video -- a dance, a recital -- don't stand out above the noise.

    • Re:Fuck that... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mlts ( 1038732 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @04:23PM (#52324619)

      I think TFA was written by someone who wants video because it means they get their ads in front of screens far longer than a text page. Same reason why a lot of the clickbait crap always leads at a video, when they could have easily stated their piece in 1-2 paragraphs.

      Text is not going anywhere. People don't have time to watch a video 24/7 for everything, nor really care to watch someone yap in their house about a topic that could easily be covered by another medium of communication.

    • by msauve ( 701917 )
      "There are countless situations where it is easier and more appropriate to write a short text comment than to make sure you are presentable enough to record video of you saying something."

      It appears we've raised a whole generation of ADHD illiterates, considering all the "how to hammer a nail" type videos on Youtube. What could be easily described in a short paragraph is now put into megabytes of video files.
    • There is almost no cases where video provides more information than a combination of text and pictures. The videos only exist for those who are illiterate or who want to turn their brains off temporarily (maybe that's the point of facebook?).

      With youtube people create meaningless videos just to try and collect some ad revenue. A three line announcement from a company turns into a 12 minute video about that announcement with the actual announcement only being mentioned after 5 minutes. Or some ridiculous

  • LMAO (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @03:28PM (#52324131)

    "helps us to digest much more information."

    Yes, if you have the attention span of a goldfish.

    Of course, if you're a facebook executive, that's probably the case.

    • by Altus ( 1034 )

      only if the video contains more data than a person talking... I can read data a lot faster than I can listen to someone speak it.

      • Re:LMAO (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Bigbutt ( 65939 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @03:58PM (#52324403) Homepage Journal

        Not only that, I can skip over the uninteresting stuff or things I already am aware of. Plus I can jump back a paragraph if I zoned out while reading or was distracted by a hottie walking by.

        Plus when creating a message, I can edit it, change the order, or delete bits that are redundant or dangle.

        And I can type in my message in the nude. While I'm not bothered by it, others might be :)

        [John]

      • Re:LMAO (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @05:42PM (#52325145)

        Plus, it's way easier to skip text than spoken word to find the information you're looking for.

        More often than not, when you're finally digging for helpful information (e.g. for a setup process or to understand a new feature in a program you're using), you can skip to about the middle of the explanation, because of course it has to cover every step, even those that you had no problem with. It's kinda hard to do that with someone talking instead of simply providing the text. Skimming text for the key words you're looking for is easy.

    • Re:LMAO (Score:4, Funny)

      by DickBreath ( 207180 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @05:08PM (#52324955) Homepage
      Executive says: Facebook will be a waste of time in five years.

      (but isn't it already?)
    • If you're a FB exec, that's pretty much what you expect from your users, sorry, products.

    • by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @06:35PM (#52325421)

      If you recall F541 by ray bradbury you may recall the sad social life of the fireman's wife who lived in a room with four video walls and interacted with her facebook "freinds" / soap operas. Text was not used, indeed it was burned.

  • Only users left (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mpol ( 719243 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @03:28PM (#52324133) Homepage

    That means that the only users that will use Facebook are people that want videos.
    People that do not want videos will not use Facebook anymore.

  • by k6mfw ( 1182893 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @03:28PM (#52324135)
    this sounds for FB subscribers will have to watch videos of what meals their friends had.
  • Too Slow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Geoffrey.landis ( 926948 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @03:28PM (#52324143) Homepage

    No.
    It's not the bandwidth-- it's just that video is too damn slow.
    I can skim a text post in a second, maybe two. If I slow down to read it, maybe fifteen seconds tops. If I have to watch a video from every person on my friends list-- I just won't.

  • Uh good one (Score:5, Insightful)

    by redmid17 ( 1217076 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @03:30PM (#52324155)
    Ms Mendelsohn,

    What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

    It's quicker to consume text than video. Just an FYI
    • by sconeu ( 64226 )

      Please mod parent up.

      +1 Billy Madison

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's hard to embed unskippable ads in text.

  • Not likely (Score:5, Insightful)

    by doconnor ( 134648 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @03:33PM (#52324181) Homepage

    It's not hard for anyone to write quickly write readable text, like I'm doing now. For me to make a comment like this in video it would either generate a stammering barely understandable video, or require fifteen minutes of planning, rehearsal and editing to make it a reasonable 30 second video, that is still less convent then the 10 seconds you look to read this.

  • by nitzmahone ( 164842 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @03:35PM (#52324205)

    Only thing that makes Facebook remotely tolerable is being able to quickly scroll/skim - same reason I love blogs and dislike podcasts. If I can't skim the content quickly, I'll be looking elsewhere for it.

  • Video isn't searchable. You have very limited control over how quickly you can take it in (I'm glad Youtube has adjustable speed settings now, at least). Video takes up massive amounts of storage space or bandwidth, especially on a per-word basis vs. plain text. Video can be computationally expensive to play back (how many of your computers can play a 1080p HEVC/H.265 video?).

    Video is not a good medium for everyday communication. I will usually look for information in text form and avoid video.

    Video calls a

    • by Junta ( 36770 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @03:43PM (#52324283)

      Furthermore, phone calls are closer to video than text. We had audio phone conversations before we had instant text communication in everyone's hands, and text communication caught on like wildfire as an easier, less intrusive thing to do.

      • by zero_out ( 1705074 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @04:26PM (#52324637)

        Furthermore, phone calls are closer to video than text. We had audio phone conversations before we had instant text communication in everyone's hands, and text communication caught on like wildfire as an easier, less intrusive thing to do.

        I think the asynchronous nature of text is a bigger contributing factor to it's success than how unobtrusive it is. (reposted because I wasn't logged in the first time)

    • by mark-t ( 151149 )

      Video isn't searchable

      ... yet.

      Although yeah... I think it's a dumb idea too... but this point isn't necessarily going to be as true in 5 years as it is now.

      • by Calydor ( 739835 )

        It will be a good while before video becomes easily searchable.

        Take game walkthroughs. Stuck at the Butcher's Paradise or some such nonsensical level name in a game? Easy to search for in a five megabyte walkthrough, NOT so easy to search for in a video. Automatic transcript? Let's hope the player speaks the level name at some point.

  • by Dzimas ( 547818 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @03:46PM (#52324297)

    Prior to joining Facebook, Nicola Mendelsohn had an illustrious career in advertising. I suspect that her vision of Facebook is one in which video ads are seamlessly weaved throughout the content you actually care about.

    The trouble is that Videobook would dramatically lose information density and become almost unusable as a result.

  • by Fire_Wraith ( 1460385 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @03:48PM (#52324309)
    Facebook executives need to pat themselves on the back for this. Every time I think they can't manage to make Facebook any worse, they come up with some new innovation to make it even more terrible than before. I see now that even that isn't enough for them - they're going above and beyond to make it completely awful. Keep up the good work, guys!
  • by petes_PoV ( 912422 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @03:50PM (#52324333)
    That sounds a little presumptuous: that Facebook will still be around in 5 years.

    It's been going for over 10 years now - so it#s well into ( the internet version of ) middle age. To look forward to 2021 and try to predict what people will want, how they will act, or what technology will be mainstream is a formula for disaster,

    I would suggest that if FB is 100% in 5 years, then in 6 years every FB app will be an AI that people use in order to extract the useful information from all that waffle and wasted bandwidth. it takes megabytes of video to say what a few dozen bytes of text say - and worse: you have to play through a video, linearly. One thing the world seems to be doing is to move away from linear "broadcast" formats.

    • To look forward to 2021 and try to predict what people will want, how they will act, or what technology will be mainstream is a formula for disaster,

      To not look forward at all is a formula for guaranteed non-existence. Looking forward and predicting the future is a crap shoot where you may get lucky or you may not. Not doing anything is the pathway to a very quick irrelevance.

  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @03:52PM (#52324351)

    ...Mendelsohn added that video is "the best way to tell stories in this world"...

    Videos have their place. But most of the time, I find the Facebook-type videos move far too slowly for me to stay interested. I'd much rather read a posting than view a video. Maybe I can read more quickly than Mendelsohn, maybe I'm not mesmerized by video technology, or maybe I'm not trying to push the marketplace into a certain direction where my company competes better than others.

    .
    The day Facebook goes all-video, I'm out of there.

  • by blackomegax ( 807080 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @03:58PM (#52324401) Journal
    This is their death blow. Like snapchat is fucking useless at conducting chats.
  • Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jenningsthecat ( 1525947 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @04:05PM (#52324447)

    FTS: "... consider the way Facebook is decreasing an emphasis on text ..."

    Consider the way people seem to be decreasing their use of Facebook and other social media [cnbc.com].

    If this decrease actually constitutes a trend, and the trend accelerates, then in five years FB will have bigger problems to worry about than encouraging its users to be less literate.

    Also, in light of the fantastical nature of Mendelsohn's conjecture, I'd say that Facebook's Kool-Aid is laced with some very powerful hallucinogens.

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @04:05PM (#52324453)

    ... Facebook announces an upcoming name change to 'Ow My Balls!

  • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @04:07PM (#52324469) Homepage

    Look, if I wanted an all video experience, I would TURN ON THE TV.

    I despise most videos on the internet.

    1) You can't have 20 tabs open, because one of them will autostart.

    2) The ads invade are far more invasive - taking more attention and of course, more your ears as well as your eyes. And the audio means you can't goof at work ;D

    3) You have to consume it at THEIR convenience, not yours - even if you can pause/restart it, it generally means you miss a thing or two. No stopping at will to read an email.

    4) In general it takes more brain power, more bandwidth, and more time to consume video than words

  • by tehlinux ( 896034 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @04:07PM (#52324471)

    Did they forget about ugly people, or do they plan on restricting their access to their service?

  • sure it will.

  • No.
    I hate most video howtos, and much prefer articles. The reason is they take forever to get to the meat of the topic. I read very quickly and just want to accomplish what I set out to do. If I want to watch someone drone on and say absolutely nothing I'll watch Seinfeld or any number of Monty Python sketches. :D

  • One of my largest pet peeves of internet trends is the posting of a tutorial, review, hands on, or just a small bit of useful information, in a 15 minute video padded by intro, random babbling, and outro, when a couple paragraphs and a few photos would have done.

    Count this right up there with 'clean design' filled with useless white space and large typeface and design features.

    Is it so hard to ask for nicely laid-out information dense pages that are quickly absorb-able without some annoying person bab
  • Hmm when I read this all I could think was "Oh Gods.. so you're saying that FaceBook will just be another Chat Roulette... so cue the dick picks for everyone in 3...2...1.."

    Seriously DO NOT WANT.

  • Facebook is becoming youtube for "I'm on the crapper and thought of this", "look at my food" and "everybody upvote this but dont' do a damned real thing about it" videos.

    And i thought it was brain garbage before...
  • by tekrat ( 242117 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @04:38PM (#52324751) Homepage Journal

    I do not go to a single major news site. Why not? Because autoplay video. I go to google news, click on an article I want to read, and then instead of the article, I get autoplay video with the article for some stupid reason (CNN, I'm looking at you).

    And I have to immediately kill the site. Because I'm at work, where blaring audio of Wolf Blitzer is frowned upon. So, now they are proposing to do the same thing at facebook? Well, there goes another web site. Soon, I'll be reduced to giving up on the web entirely.

    I'm thinking LYNX for my smartphone and every computer I own. But too bad I don't control the computer I'm forced to use at work.

    • You have autoplaying videos at work? We have plugins that require you to click on the video to even load it.

      Do you need admin access to add a plugin to your browser?

  • Aside from being the absolutely stupidest idea I've heard yet, chances are that in 5 years from now, Facebook will be going the way of Myspace, Livejournal, and all the other now-irrelevant social media sites. People are already moving away from all this fake 'sharing' nonsense anyway, posting less and less relevant things, and more and more fluff. I'm sure something else will come along to replace Facebook when it truly transforms into Failbook (and I will cheer on that day) and chaces are it's replacement
  • by c ( 8461 )

    Given the sheer quantity of stuff on Facebook which is just photos of text, I predict that in five years Facebook will be mostly videos of text being typed. Or, if anyone still remembers how, written by hand.

  • Will they also implant tiny video screens and cameras in our eyes so we can't avoid the latest update on Cynthia's McDonald's breakfast or the awesome deal that Biff just got on his new pair of Nike Extreme Radical Ranger Jumpmaster(tm) tennis shoes? And will the implanted circuitry be free?

  • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Wednesday June 15, 2016 @05:40PM (#52325133)

    They used to say that "all programs evolve until they can send email."

    I propose a corollary: "All web services evolve until they turn into shit-laden advertising platforms and become annoying and irrelevant."

  • so they will buy it?

  • video is "the best way to tell stories in this world"

    Reading is way faster. Show me anyone who has watched a movie after reading the book and preferred the movie.

    Jesus wept. Can I get a job at FB as a VP? The bar can't be very high if this is the level of intelligence required.

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