Facebook Moves One Step Closer to Becoming a Video Empire

As online video heats up, Facebook is doubling down on its effort to capture a bigger share of viewers’ attention.

On Thursday, the company announced it had acquired QuickFire Networks, a video startup that uses proprietary technology to support high-quality videos without eating up users’ bandwidth. Some of the team from the San Diego-based company will join Facebook as part of the terms of the acquisition, and QuickFire will eventually shutter its operations.

The news comes just a day after Facebook published new data on its explosive growth in video. According to its press release, the number of video posts per person are up 75 percent globally. In the U.S. more than half of daily Facebook users are watching at least one video per day. Since June 2014, the company says, Facebook has delivered more than 1 billion video views to users every day.

So why bother with QuickFire? It’s just another piece of the puzzle that fits in with Facebook’s grander video strategy. As the social network’s video ambitions continue to swell, it is getting serious about building out the necessary infrastructure that will allow video to scale.
Battling for Your Hours

According to a cached version of QuickFire’s website, the company is a video transcoding service—in other words, a way to quickly encode videos for posting on the Web without compromising quality. For Facebook, this sort of technology appeals because it allows content creators to throw more things up on the site by shrinking upload times. When creators are happy, they tend to create a lot more for the platform, which is precisely what Facebook wants.

People are already sharing tons of videos on Facebook. But that may not be enough for the social network. According to a recent New York Times report, the company is constantly looking for ways to coax publishers into having their content live inside Facebook, instead of linking to it. The company likely wants to do the same thing for video, where the competition for people’s attention in that space is fierce.

YouTube delivers more than 6 billion hours’ worth of content every month to viewers worldwide and is working to promote its talent pool even more. A host of other players—from IAC’s Vimeo to former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar’s Vessel—are gearing up to launch subscription video services. Add in all the hours users are spending on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Video, and that’s a lot of online time not spent on Facebook. The more Facebook can make itself a native video platform, the more of those hours it can get for itself.

Author: Davey Alba
Source: Wired