Facebook hands Kiwi reins to Spencer Bailey

Facebook has appointed experienced media man Spencer Bailey as the head of the New Zealand arm of the business.

The appointment of Bailey brings an end to Stephen Scheeler’s stint as the acting head of Facebook New Zealand, and this sees Scheeler return to his previous role of head of retail and automotive for both Australia and New Zealand.

Bailey has 20 years’ advertising and publishing experience and was a founding member and former chair of the Interactive Advertising Bureau of New Zealand.

Prior to joining the social media juggernaut, Bailey served as the general manager of NZME Digital, the division responsible for digital strategy and execution for all the publisher’s products and platforms (StopPress is still waiting for confirmation from NZME regarding a replacement for Bailey).

Over the course of his four-year tenure at NZME, Bailey also served as the chief operating officer and sales director of the digital division of the company.

In addition to this local experience, Bailey has also earned his international stripes, having worked in Dubai as director of business-to-business publishing at ITP for two years and also at various publications in the UK.

In an official statement released via Pursuit PR, Bailey spoke of the role Facebook plays in giving brands a medium by which to publish their commercial messages.

“Today, for over 2.5m New Zealanders, Facebook is an integral part of their lives,” said Bailey. “With huge growth in mobile, Facebook has become one of the most exciting and effective ways for  businesses to connect and engage with Kiwis. We work with New Zealand’s biggest brands including Air NZ, Spark, Lion, Hyundai, McDonald’s, The Warehouse, Tourism New Zealand and ASB Bank, and I’m looking forward to helping them and their agencies realise their full potential on the Facebook platform to build their brands.”

Over the course of 2014, Facebook placed enormous emphasis on encouraging brands to post videos to its platform. And as indicated in a recent Forbes article, these efforts are starting to pay off:

“The number of video views on Facebook increased 50 percent from May to June of 2014, according a blog post by the company. In July, Facebook announced that video views on the platform exceeded 1 billion each day. According to comScore, 2013 saw two percent of all US video viewing coming from Facebook. Meanwhile, in 2014 it jumped to ten percent of all video views. And, according to comScore, by August Facebook overtook YouTube for the first time in the U.S. in terms of number of videos viewed on desktop.  With a user base of 1.35B active monthly users and acquisitions such as Instagram of (photo & video), LiveRail (video ad platform), WhatsApp (mobile messaging) and Oculus (virtual reality) we think Facebook has only scratched the surface of its video potential.”

This trend is also becoming more evident in New Zealand, with numerous brands using the platform to publish videos. And as Bailey takes on his new role, Facebook will hope that he continues to encourage Kiwi brands to post their videos to the platform.  

StopPress requested an interview with Bailey but he was not available to chat on account of currently being out of the country. 

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