What is Facebook all about? Not likes, posts, or shares, but video. As Facebook’s presence in the video space has increased over the past few years, one of the most heated debates has been “Facebook vs. YouTube.” Compared to YouTube, Facebook’s growth has been phenomenal: it only took the company about one year to gain four billion daily video views, while it took YouTube ten years to achieve this number. Even more incredible, Facebook has doubled that number to eight billion in the past several months.
Facebook is not taking this growth for granted. The future of Facebook stock may depend on how well its video assets continue to grow. New Facebook apps, such as Video Metrics, help to accomplish the Facebook vision to replace YouTube as the dominant video platform. Yep, you heard me. Even with the company’s new features such as YouTube Red, we can’t help but wonder what will replace YouTube as its popularity begins to wane. Startups like Valoso are starting to get their footing in the video space, so just imagine what power and potential Facebook has. After all, Facebook’s future plans lie in creating an arena for its users to view and share videos. If Facebook has the larger user base, what will stop it from overtaking YouTube?
What Facebook Has that YouTube Doesn’t
When it comes to video, YouTube vs. Facebook may sound like a silly question. After all, YouTube is the king of video, right? Well, besides Facebook’s staggering video growth in such a short period of time, the company has also launched many new features to boost its presence in the video stage. Some features include autoplay, video captions, and built-in call-to-actions. Additionally, Facebook has made itself more organized and “Youtube-like” by adding a video page to its users’ profiles and introducing Video Metrics, which allows users and businesses to access valuable data for their videos. Facebook also accommodates 360 degree videos and live streaming videos, two hot new trends in the digital world.
As mentioned before, probably one of the biggest assets Facebook has that YouTube doesn’t is the number one largest social media user base. Compared to YouTube’s 63%, Facebook accounts for 77% of site usage among adults. This may be because of its versatility as a social media website. You can post anything from pictures to websites to videos on Facebook, while YouTube only allows videos.
Although most creative minds recognize and use YouTube as a monetization platform, many businesses are starting to make the move to Facebook. Especially over the past few years, YouTube has become more competitive and less friendly. The company is no longer about making random, viral videos, it’s about marketing.
Although YouTube can take any business to the next level, Facebook’s video content is arguably more shareable, direct, and intimate. Many people consider the Facebook community to be more familiar and less imposing. One creator affirms there is less “comment-related nastiness” on Facebook videos as compared to YouTube, which results in less hesitation to share videos. Overall, Facebook’s modern and promising features, vast user base, potential as a monetization platform, and cordial community all make it an aggressive contender against YouTube.
What Distinguishes Facebook from Other Players in the Video Space
What makes Facebook videos stand out against competitors? Well, besides the gigantic user base, Facebook does not alienate its videos. It integrates them. Unlike many newspapers and other websites and apps, Facebook does not segregate its videos into an entirely different cubicle. Instead, it includes them right in the users’ newsfeeds with the other stories, making them more accessible and more shareable.
Additionally, much of Facebook’s strategy focuses on videos for business. In a recent quote by a Facebook content creator manager, creators with over a million fans noticed that photo posts reach an average of 14% of their audience, text-only updates reach just 4%, and videos reach a whopping 35%. Compared to other players in the video space, this high interaction is phenomenal. It opens the doors for businesses to capitalize on video and monetize via Facebook. Although there are other proven monetization platforms, including YouTube, Facebook stands out because it targets business’s ads and videos to a highly specific niche, not just a general audience.
What Facebook Video Has in Store for the Future
Ever since 2014, Facebook plans have always revolved around boosting its video assets. After all, the Facebook vision statement is “to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” How is this possible without the power of video? Cisco even predicted that by 2019, video will constitute 80% of web traffic. Facebook has placed this notion at a high priority.
In the words of another credible debater of the Facebook video vs. YouTube phenomenon, “None of this happened by accident. Facebook is on the move, making it happen.” Just as a birdwatcher exploits a new vantage point, Facebook is taking advantage of its new marketing standpoint as a major video platform. Among other advancements, the company is making it more and more easy to upload, view, and share videos directly on its website or app. In February 2015, 70% of Facebook videos were uploaded directly, as opposed to being links back to YouTube. Just a year earlier, direct uploads only totaled 25%.
Source: Social Factor
When faced with the daunting question, “Who will win: Facebook videos vs. YouTube videos?,” now you know the answer. Although the spotlight may currently shine on YouTube, Facebook is undoubtedly a potent competitor on the video stage. Just imagine what Facebook has in store for 2016. If YouTube wants to solidify its footing in the video world, it may retaliate with some revolutionary technology that completely changes the game. If Facebook plays its cards right, it could easily end up as the number one most viewed video platform.