Just when you thought Facebook couldn’t better its video proposition, it’s done it again – the platform is using a select group of creators and broadcasters to test a new format called Premieres.

To the average Facebook user, the videos will look a lot like Lives – viewers will be able to comment and interact in real time as the video plays out – but in reality, the content can be pre-recorded, edited, and shared at a time and date determined by the publisher.

Facebook Lives have proved incredible for engagement and I see a lot of great situations where there’s no better video format (they’re a no-brainer for events), but in reality, true Live videos give brands limited possibilities to create content of the quality they’re used to. There’s no way to add title slides, annotate the videos with subtitles, or call out key bits of information that you don’t want your audience to miss, before posting the video out as a Live unless you use expensive third-party software to game the Facebook system.

Premiere Videos put paid to that – you’ll be able to edit your video as much as you want, advertise its broadcast time as far in advance as necessary, and post out a piece of content you’re 100% happy with, at a time that coincides with other brand activities or that’s best suited to your target audience.

This format has been introduced primarily for the entertainment industry – meaning Facebook can to air programmes on Facebook Watch at specific times, much like broadcast TV, or movie houses can release much-anticipated trailers to new films at specific times. Being able to do this across all platforms will really maximise that big spike of conversation (Star Wars, we’re looking at you…). That said, there are opportunities for every brand – you just need to think how the format might apply to you.

Perhaps you’re great at making amazing Christmas ads, but you don’t have the big advertising budgets of John Lewis, so there’s no way you’ll ever get an X Factor ad slot, or perhaps you want to make sure all of your loyal fans see your new product launch at the same time – Facebook Premieres could be the place for you to showcase your latest video creation to maximum effect.

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