Feb 15, 2017

Facebook adds Snapchat-like video features to feed

  1. Sound will autoplay for videos in newsfeed: About 60% of videos on Snapchat play with the sound on, giving Snapchat a leg up for video advertisers. Facebook reportedly had an 80% video sound off rate.
  2. Vertical Video: Snapchat championed vertical video, and began pushing it in the market in 2015, when they said vertical video yields the best-performing shows and ads and ads are viewed 9x more frequently when shot vertically over horizontally. Facebook began testing in-feed vertical video in 2016 and the feature will now be available on iPhone and Android devices.
  3. Watch and Scroll: It's now possible to minimize the video so that it keeps playing in the corner of your screen while you browse other stories in News Feed. This is something publishers have been long-experimenting, to help increase video engagement numbers as viewers navigate their sites. CNN.com and YouTube have similar watch and scroll video features.

Why it matters:

Facebook is scrambling to optimize its video viewing experience to be able to increase the competitiveness of video advertising in its ad auction and to compete with other platforms to win video advertising dollars. 2017 is supposed to be a slow growth year for Facebook advertising, and revenues are expected to come down significantly.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 p.m. ET: 1,536,979 — Total deaths: 93,425 — Total recoveries: 346,376Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 p.m. ET: 451,491 — Total deaths: 15,938 — Total recoveries: 24,790Map.
  3. Public health latest: U.S. has expelled thousands of migrants under coronavirus public health orderDr. Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the U.S. death toll to 60,000.
  4. Business latest: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion for businesses, state and city governments — Another 6.6 million jobless claims were filed last week.
  5. World latest: Boris Johnson is moved out of ICU but remains in hospital with coronavirus.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Your hydroxychloroquine questions answered.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Biden rolls out new policies in effort to court Sanders supporters

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Biden campaign announced two new policies on Thursday on health care and student debt that are squarely aimed at appealing to supporters of Bernie Sanders, who ended his campaign for the Democratic nomination on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The policies don't go as far as Sanders' platform, but they signal that Biden is serious about incorporating elements of his former rival's agenda in an effort to help unify the Democratic Party and defeat President Trump in the general election.

Reports: Saudi Arabia and Russia reach major deal to cut oil production

Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP via Getty Images

OPEC+, led by mega-producers Saudi Arabia and Russia, reached a tentative agreement Thursday to impose large cuts in oil production as the coronavirus pandemic fuels an unprecedented collapse in demand, per Bloomberg and Reuters.

Why it matters: The revival of the OPEC+ collaboration patches up the early March rupture between the countries, which had pushed already depressed prices down much further by threatening to unleash even more new supplies into the saturated market.