Facebook video is quickly pulling ahead of YouTube videos on the social media site. Recent data found direct video uploads surpassed the number of YouTube video shares for the first time on Facebook in November 2014.
The report was compiled by social media analyst company Socialbakers and reveals a new trend in how Facebook’s content creators (defined by Socialbakers as brands, celebrities, sports companies, etc.) like to share their videos. Instead of simply embedding or linking to YouTube videos in their Facebook posts, the social media site’s creators now prefer to upload videos directly to Facebook.
Facebook Pages also saw an increase in video uploads (a recent example is from ABC, who just launched a Facebook-only video newscast on its Page called The One Thing). Facebook video uploads to Pages now match the number of YouTube shares on Pages.
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Socialbakers’ CEO Jan Rezab told Business Insider Facebook videos are doing well because they exist in an environment that’s “more natural” for sharing and interaction. The videos on Facebook also autoplay (without sound) in users’ feeds, which makes discovery less of a hassle for users (and less of a problem for brands).
However, there are a few missing factors in Socialbakers’ study that could have big implications for how various companies and individuals approach Facebook videos and YouTube. The data, for instance, doesn’t show the amount of time Facebook users spend watching native Facebook videos versus YouTube videos shared on the social media platform. While auto-play is the assumed reason for Facebook’s success so far in video, there’s no stat provided about how willing Facebook users are to sit through native videos as opposed to videos shared via YouTube.
Also, Socialbakers previously found Facebook videos tend to generate more interaction, but it never specified what kind of (or the quality of) interactions it was referring to. And while ReelSEO notes how 41 of the top 100 most “liked” pages on Facebook are brands, as compared to only six of the top 100 channels on YouTube, a few other studies about brands on YouTube versus Facebook proves quantity doesn’t always matter.
One study from online video advertising veteran Brendan Gahan shows how top five brands like Red Bull and GoPro on Google’s online video site are 20 times more engaged than those on Facebook. Another study from AOL Platforms found paid advertising works best on YouTube for introducing consumers to new products and influencing their purchases. So it’s a bit of a reach to assume Facebook is “overtaking” YouTube video, at least in terms of quality and quantity of engagement and viewership.
All of this information, if clarified, would help brands and individual users better understand which site, Facebook or YouTube, their videos will have the most impact for their particular situations. The two sites may not actually be in competition with each other, but are rather just serving different purposes for different demographics.