Consumption of online video actually declined in the U.S. by 3% year over year, according to analysts Arvind Bhatia and Brett Strauser of Sterne Agee — but not at Facebook. Users of the social network watched a total of 118 million hours of video in January, according to comScore — a huge, sudden leap.
In previous months, Facebook’s 1.2 billion active users tended to watch a total of less than 40 million hours, according to this chart of Facebook video viewing habits prepared for us by Statista:
This isn’t a coincidence, of course. Facebook is preparing a new, yet-to-be-launched video ad product. before that happens, though, the company has been seeding the news feed with viral video, most recently its “Look Back” feature in which a custom video is created from your best-liked posts of the last few years.