Office 365 Video Turns Its Lens on Viewers

A new update to the Office 365 Video tool for SharePoint offers businesses viewer statistics along with video management improvements.

Microsoft Office 365, video

Microsoft is currently rolling out an update for Office 365 Video that offers businesses new insights to help determine the impact of their video efforts on the workplace.

Office 365 Video is a cloud-based video streaming and management service, powered by Azure Media Services, for SharePoint intranets. After videos are uploaded, they can be shared internally and made discoverable to enterprise search and users of the Delve app for Office content discovery.

Now, the product is offering organizations some visibility into how those videos are being consumed and shared among their workers.

"The new video viewer statistics gives people insights into how their videos are being viewed—highlighting viewing spikes where shared via email and Yammer or discovered within Office Delve," said Mark Kashman, senior product manager for Microsoft Office 365 team, in a March 22 announcement.
"It shows aggregate data on how many people have watched your video and how long they spend watching it, visualizing the drop-off rates over time."

Sprouting from the Statistics dropdown menu within a video's playback page, interactive viewer trends provide users with a sense of how demand for a video rises and falls over time. The viewer engagement graph splits videos into time ranges and displays the number of views per range, offering business clues on which parts of their videos cause viewership to drop off.

Office 365 Video also offers organizations more visibility into the progress of their uploads. While uploading multiple videos, the user interface (UI) now displays an overall progress bar along with individual progress bars. During the upload process, the UI offers users a chance to add a title and description.

Users also can now upload their own subtitle files using the WebVTT (Web Video Text Tracks) format. It supports multiple languages per video, allowing users to select a language before uploading a captions file. If multiple languages are associated with a video, viewers are presented with multiple closed captioning options.

Expanded thumbnail options allow content creators to tweak the image that represents their videos in the Office 365 Video portal, Delve Activity feed and search results. Users can opt to let the service generate a thumbnail automatically, upload their own or use the default thumbnail. Expanded metadata capabilities allow users to include people featured in the video, improving discoverability.

To improve the video-sharing experience on SharePoint Online, a new Office 365 Video button appears in the Insert menu item while publishing a page or posting to a team site. The button brings up a dialog box with a search box and video thumbnails, enabling users to quickly select a video and embed it into their content.

Office 365 Video Channel Administrators can now enable permission-based video downloads for offline viewing. They also can set a default Yammer group for a video channel's comments, or disable them completely. Finally, administrators get 90 days to reach into the recycle bin and restore videos deleted by users.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...