Facebook highlights importance of video in Korea

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Facebook highlights importance of video in Korea

Video, which lies at the center of digital communications and marketing today, is already a dominant media tool in this heavily connected nation, Facebook Korea said on Wednesday.

Benjamin Joe, the company’s country manager, said that Korea took the world’s top spot in terms of the penetration rate of online videos at 95.9 percent as of last June, citing a study by market researcher NTS Global.

Spain came next with 92 percent while the United States was in 10th with a 78.4 percent rate.

“Long-term evolution (LTE) mobile connection’s penetration rate amounts to 60 percent in Korea,” said Joe. “It’s amazing to see such a huge number of Facebook users in Korea utilize the video feature.”

The Korean unit of the world’s most popular social network brought up the importance of video in the presence of dozens of reporters at its office in Yeoksam-dong, southern Seoul.

This came two weeks after Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that “video is the new forefront and after that, augmented and virtual reality” while delivering a speech at the annual F8 developer conference later last month.

“We’re starting to see traditional video blend with even more immersive content,” he said. “We’re talking about new types of video now, like spherical, 360-degree views of real environments. Think an eagle-eye view of Google Street Maps.”

The rapid progress in mobile connectivity in Korea, with the now prevalent use of the LTE connection, is one reason why video is being spotlighted lately, said Park Hyun-suk, head of agency at Facebook Korea. The arrival of smartphones, which came equipped with video, and the willingness of Internet platforms such as Naver, YouTube and Facebook to embrace video as part of their key features, have also contributed to the trend, according to Park.

For Facebook, video has quickly become a key weapon that is intimidating YouTube, the world’s largest video-streaming site.

As of July last year, 3 billion videos were watched daily on Facebook while the number that was uploaded to the platform increased 175 percent year-on-year.

Additionally, the number of videos shown on Facebook’s News Feed, one of the main sections of the site, grew 3.6-fold compared with a year earlier.

BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]
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