Notice how many videos you see in your Facebook feed these days? How many do you watch? Now, how many do you actually listen to?  And that’s why Facebook’s killing video.

George Lucas is one of many directors who will tell you that ‘sound is half the movie.’ And Facebook has put us in a situation where we only see ‘half’ the movie. Videos begin with muted sound on Facebook and other social media channels until such time as you actually click on the video – and you don’t do that so often, do you?   A new ‘muted video’ format has been born – somewhat regrettably.

One of video’s great strength’s is the ability to create an emotion rather than just put forward a fact. Sound plays an extremely important role in that. Without sound, we’re looking at a different kind of format completely. To produce video in the same way as before, for this format at least, is kind of pointless. I mean, we’re going to do it because we think we’re being cost-effective and smart but the end result may no be so smart. Every video getting posted on Facebook or Instagram needs to go through a ‘mute’ test. We need to look at it in a new way and make a decision if the video is going to have any impact at all. Better still – in pre-production, we’re going to need to start thinking straight away as to how a video can work in both formats.

So, what do we see as the big trends here then in the ‘muted video’ format? We’ve come a long way from Charlie Chaplin’s days though that format idea of old-fashioned drama followed by text followed by drama, isn’t a bad one. Someone should re-use it.

We see that application developers now have apps that allow you to put text onto your Facebook videos so that you can at least easily sub-title your Facebook material.  And that’s it. So far. For those who want their text to look more appealing, they work on the typography and style and placement of that text but we have alot more to do here.

I’m beginning to wonder if we should stop thinking about creating strong emotions in this format and start thinking more about informing in short succinct text-bites instead. Or at least, if we’re creating emotions we’re doing it through sharp copy rather than creating atmosphere and ambience. We’re now looking at a marriage of printed text and moving images rather than sound and moving images.

I’d genuinely love to hear other people’s thought on this. Comments and discussion is most welcome!