‘Habit and inertia’ holding back marketers says Facebook regional director UK Steve Hatch as first Facebook IQ study released

Marketers are being supressed by “habit and inertia” when it comes to reaching young people and need to better understand the way they communicate, according to Facebook regional director UK and Ireland Steve Hatch.

Speaking at the IAB Engage event in London, Hatch made the comment as the inaugural report from Facebook’s insight arm, Facebook IQ, was released today.

“Many things are holding us back but probably the greatest things are habit and inertia,” he asserted. “And for those brands who are making pioneering steps there are many kind of gains to be had, because it’s true that whilst we have a generation that is growing up on screens, so are the brands that we see.

“And whilst we may only be at the beginning, our customers are already there.”

The Coming of Age on Screens study pulls together findings from more than 11,000 13-24 year olds across 13 markets, and is designed to better help marketers understand how young people communicate online and offline.

Hatch revealed that “by far” video consumption is the biggest “exponential change” the social network has seen, with those aged 13-24 more likely to share a video of themselves on Facebook than any other platform. “There has been more than a five-fold increase in the viewing of video on mobile in the last two years alone,” he said.

The Ice Bucket Challenge trend on Facebook “educated and normalised” the creation and uploading of videos, argued Hatch, who revealed that as a consequence of its huge popularity (17m videos were uploaded, with 440m viewers) Facebook will at 5pm today (16 October) introduce autoplay to its video suite.

Hatch also called the 13-24 demographic the “future economic powerhouses” and “the incubators of social and cultural norms” as they continue to share and engage with content much faster than ever before.

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