Look Back: Facebook shows movement to personalised video
Look Back: Facebook shows movement to personalised video
A view from Dotan Ginsbourg

Facebook's 'Look Back' highlights commitment to video strategy

Why is parody the sincerest form of flattery? Well, for someone to mock, they first have to be inspired enough to care.

With the launch of Facebook’s ‘Look Back’ videos to celebrate the social network’s tenth anniversary last month, it seems that the notion of personalised video has inspired an awful lot of people.

Our favourite ‘Look Back’ parodies include Walter White, Jesus and John Watson (who takes his first selfie with Sherlock and then celebrates on discovering he’s still alive).

Of course, this is not the first time that Facebook has taken a retrospective look back. A while ago, it launched Timeline and in the past it has even issued Year in Review photo compilations. But it has never done it in video form and as a company that specialises in high-quality personalised video, the mainstream response has really excited us.

The year of video?

We’ve been predicting that personalised video experiences would be the next big trend for some time now. For Valentine’s Day this year, we enabled Facebook users to create personalised couples videos using their social graph.

Mobile is a key driver of this trend prediction. With IBM estimating a 300% increase in video consumption last year on mobile devices alone, it was only a matter of time before someone of Mark Zuckerberg’s status dipped a toe in the water.

Zuckerberg understands our philosophy that personalised video makes customers feel special by relating to them as individuals. It increases emotional engagement, builds trust and delivers a relevant call to action.

Boosting declining engagement

Facebook has needed an over-riding mechanic to prevent a decline in all these areas for some time now. Users weren’t posting, ‘Liking’ or commenting nearly as much, trust in privacy settings had declined and the network desperately needed a gift that would let the community know that if they stepped up their engagement, they’d be rewarded with these types of thank-you’s in the future.

By sending out hundreds of millions of videos, Facebook is delivering better customer engagement for its brand by communicating personally, on a massive scale. It has given every one of its customers a unique and personally moving story. It has made them the star of the show and in return, Facebook can now expect their loyalty. It almost doesn’t matter that the final result looks more like a Bar Mitzvah video than an epic montage of someone’s life highlights. Facebook has tapped into the power of personalised video to let customers know that they are important and that their business is valued.

Personalised video drives customer relationships

Here at we see the results of how professional personalised video can drive customer relationships and brand engagement each and every day. When we look around at our society, it’s not just Facebook and Instagram that are steering their ships towards increased video capabilities. It’s also retail stores, outdoor advertising companies, transport providers and venue owners.

We’re helping to realise a world portrayed by Steven Spielberg in the 2002 film Minority Report, where personalised video messaging is everywhere. As you wait at a bus-stop, an outdoor advertising company will be able to show you video ads from say, bars and restaurants located in the area you’re traveling towards. And, as you leave a store, a personalised video message will congratulate you on your specific retail purchase using information gleaned from your store loyalty card.

Social is maturing

Social networks may have made the world a more personalized place to live but high-quality video will open the doors to a world of marketing and brand possibilities.

Dotan Ginsbourg is managing director UK at personalised video technology company Idomoo