With more than 50% of daily engagement from total online users and more than 145 minutes a day spent on the social media platforms during 2020, it's no surprise that our feeds have become essential for brands to reach new customers.
Our feeds have became the main distribution channel for commercials and original content.
In the last five years, we have seen an enormous increase in U.S. advertising spending on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok (~28%). This growth has enabled social media giants to control distribution channels.
The Future of UGC: Two Paths Forward
The rise of social media paired with advances in natural-language processing and computer vision, and increased access to high-end mobile cameras create a unique opportunity. We are all empowered to create agency quality videos now. We see two different approaches that incumbents and newer AdTech startups are taking to enhance content created by the average Creator.
A Visual-First Approach
Most social media platforms and video editing tools currently available in-market have chosen to upgrade content by providing state-of-the-art visual capabilities to users. Think gradients and filters. Computer Vision engines, for example, have the ability to enhance a videos brightness/contrast, shadows, color balancing, and other visual elements of a video.
A Story-First Approach
Less ubiquitous is the story-first approach to UGC. Few companies are investing in improving, not only visual elements, but storyboards and narration/tone of videos by using deep learning NLP engines. These advanced models have the ability to recommend clearer story structures so a user's videos don't just look better, but tell a better story. This is one of the main reasons we started Terra Digital, to fill a much-needed gap in the creative software space.
We fundamentally believe the visual-first approach, though revolutionary in the digital age, will only satisfy users in the short term. Even worse, it may create dependencies on certain tools. Teaching users, on the other hand, to tell a better story will have positive lasting effects on novice Creators - and will help create less noise and more purposeful videos for us all to consume.
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