Social Strikes Back is a series exploring the next generation of social networks and how they’re shaping the future of consumer tech. See more at a16z.com/social-strikes-back.
Over the past year, it’s become obvious (sometimes painfully so) that video consumption is on the rise.
Americans are Zooming into work meetings, logging into online classrooms, FaceTiming friends and family, and streaming entertainment more than ever before (binge-watching and gaming are up 25 percent and 75 percent, respectively). But this screentime swell began well before COVID hit. Since 2015, video streaming has risen 13 percent year-over-year.
Now, we’re about to enter a whole new era of video-first products that extend far beyond entertainment and gaming. If phase one of video was a laid-back experience, video 2.0 will be far more interactive and participatory, with users engaging with the platform, giving direct feedback on the content, and fundamentally shaping the experience in real time. This video-first future will enable more engaging, gratifying and geographically unconstrained social experiences than ever before.
Watch a basketball game with your friend who lives on the other side of the country? Shop directly with a sales associate without having to step foot in a store? With this new era of video, all formerly in-person engagements are candidates for reinvention. How did we get to this moment?
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