Why Do People Share Videos?

We have all been told that a picture paints a thousand words. As cliché and hackneyed as this expression has become, it remains a useful starting point for this discussion into video sharing, and the increasing trend for the use of visual material to convey a message, as opposed to written material.

Why has video sharing become such a popular and effective way of conveying information? Ultimately, we share videos online in order to evoke a response from others. This response can come in a variety of different forms; be it humour, appreciation, empathy, shock, and so on. In fact, often it does not matter which emotion has been evoked, just that a reaction has been stirred in the first place.

Validation is a large factor behind the culture of sharing videos. Part of what makes us human is that we thrive on the validation of others. When people approve, appreciate or relate to something that we have done or said, we feel good. Likewise, when we share a video that has amusing content, or a compelling message that others can relate to, we feel a sense of satisfaction.

A huge instrument behind video sharing, is the invocation of third party comments and engagement, via social media. It goes without saying, that having a huge number of people ‘like’ a video which you have shared on facebook, is going to provide a welcoming boost to your ego. However, looking beyond the comforting, personal ego boost; social media provides a useful platform for businesses to engage with potential consumers. In replacement of a static ad campaign in a magazine or newspaper, the use of an online video campaign propelled by social media, is guaranteed to get people involved with your company and to feel like they’re an actual part of your business as opposed to merely a consumer on the receiving end. Using social media is also much cheaper than paying for a traditional marketing campaign and it allows for greater reach. Additionally, using social media as part of a marketing campaign allows you to make a long term connection to your customers/fans and to therefore grow that connection through one-to-one interaction. Video campaigns and their tie to social media are definitely the way forward within the experiential marketing world.

Video sharing is fast becoming a powerful way to highlight and protest against societal injustice occurring all over the world. From the infamous video of Neda the young Iranian girl shot dead whilst attending a peaceful rally in Tehran in 2009.

To an event much closer to home – the video broadcast during the 2011 London riots of a Malaysian student mugged in Barking by a group of teenagers who initially appeared to be going to his aid.

Smart phones have become invaluable tools at reporting injustice and broadcasting it to a large audience.

Shared videos are frequently to gain support, and or, sympathy from members of the online community who have found themselves in a similar predicament. By uploading a video that embodies either your hopes, fears or sorrows to a network of friends, acquaintances and beyond, one is likely to receive messages of support, encouragement, condolence and practical advice.

Video sharing is both easy and convenient: two fundamental aspects of modern life. At the simple click of a mouse, videos can be instantly shared with a constantly expanding and diverse online community. It takes very little effort to upload and share a video, but the rewards are far-reaching.

Sharing videos is ultimately all about facilitating a greater reach for conveying messages. By its very nature, it is an indirect and impersonal mode of communication; yet it is also becoming an important way to build online relationships and foster online communities. As a result, it is one of the most powerful forms of communication today.

Neil Davidson is the CEO and Founder of My Web Presenters. They have pioneered and built the market leading technology for using web presenters () on your website. My Web Presenters offer corporate video production that evokes a response in the viewer and brings them closer to your brand.