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  • Recipe Guru Team

The Continued Popularity Of Time-Lapse Videos

Updated: Jun 15, 2020

We came across a couple of interesting statistics from Bazaarvoice this week:

Visual content shared via social media on mobile produces as much as a 111% uplift in conversion and can generate 180% boost in revenue per visitor to a website.

Scroll down through your Facebook feed and you'll most likely find an even mix of video and images, and perhaps a few posts with neither. Social media is visual media, and as the statistics above illustrate, there is a very good reason for that. Visual content sells.

When it comes to food, one particular type of visual content stands out: time-lapse videos. Their popularity is undeniable, particularly since autoplay has become standard across social media platforms. A video posted on Facebook on April 15th, 2018 by Tasty Vegetarian already has a staggering 5.2 million views at the time of writing. Their continued popularity is also understandable, particularly when you consider that 9 out of 10 social media users access social media platforms via mobile.


In the competitive world of content marketing, particularly on social media, the aim is to create thumb-stopping moments. This cleverly describes content that stands out so much that it prompts social media users to pause mid-scroll. Time-lapse videos do just that for many reasons.


If you've watched more than one time-lapse recipe video, you'll have noticed that they all have one thing in common: they can be watched with or without sound. This is a clever move since 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound, and it makes time-lapse recipe videos much more accessible than more traditional cooking video formats. It enables social media users to watch the recipe content wherever and whenever they wish. It also ensures that the content is available to a global audience with no language barriers.

Short and sweet

You wouldn't expect a goldfish to watch a video. They have an attention span of only 9 seconds after all. You might be surprised to learn however that a 2016 study found that humans have an attention span of only 8 seconds. This suggests that we are unlikely to sit through a 6-minute video that shows the process of a recipe almost in real-time. Time-lapse videos require nothing more than 30 seconds to a minute of your time.


In order to engage social media users for an entire minute, those first few seconds are crucial. (Keeping in mind that 8-second attention span stat.) The attention-grabber (or thumb-stopper) is that first shot of the finished dish. Smart food brands and recipe publishers give their viewers what they want from the very first shot. Molten chocolate and gooey cheese feature heavily because they are the ultimate thumb-stoppers. The opening shot is vital because this is when viewers decide whether the video is worthy of their time or not.

Videos with a purpose

It's important to remember that time-lapse recipe videos have a purpose beyond just entertaining millions. The objective is click-throughs. The more outlandish the recipe, the more views. Tasty's Cheeseburger Onion Rings time-lapse video has had a staggering 169 million views. Those views don't necessarily translate to click-throughs, however, and it's important to strike the right balance between outlandish and realistic in order to achieve your objective. This is even more vital for grocery retailers for whom the objective is to encourage purchases via shoppable recipes.

Recipe Guru can curate a selection of tried and tested recipes to suit any marketing campaign, and through our channel partners, we can offer engaging time-lapse videos to improve your social media offering. Get in touch with us to find out more.

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