Facebook says it’s now generating 8 billion video views a day. To put that into context — that number was 4 billion in April; that’s a 100% increase over a few months.
Not coincidentally, the social media giant — with over a billion active daily users — also recently announced it is testing a new video channel. It’s a dedicated place to monitor videos from friends and Pages, celebrities or companies you follow. A standing icon will be located at the bottom of the Facebook app when released to the public. We can’t wait, especially with what that means for our clients. Facebook also announced it’s running a pilot program to give video publishers a cut of the advertising revenue, which is modeled after YouTube.
According to Facebook’s counting methodology, it’s running neck-and-neck with YouTube in total daily views. That’s mind boggling. However, here’s the big difference. Google, YouTube’s owner, only counts a “view” if it was watched for about 30 seconds or longer. Facebook’s criteria is only 3 seconds. So what’s all the fascination with Facebook video? It’s the engagement metrics that industry insiders are monitoring.
A recent Mixpo study revealed the three most coveted consumer metrics in video are: Engagement with interactive elements, Shares and Conversions. Early indication shows in many industries that Facebook is beating YouTube in those areas. Now, YouTube still shines in “Total time spent watching” and is the world’s second-largest search engine to boot.
The Facebook vs. YouTube war is brewing and caught our attention for a few reasons:
- Original, quality video content sets your company apart from your competitors – no matter what the publishing platform. We recommend to our clients that video marketing is key in both the consumer decision journey and raising the three As: Awareness, Authenticity, and Authority.
- A YouTube video is 50 times more likely than text to appear on the first page of search-engine results. In case we have to spell it out: A snazzy spotlight on a company service line or feature-style introduction to your business can better your search rankings.
- While Facebook has a low bar in what is considered a “view,” our clients that are running Facebook video advertising campaigns are seeing high engagement: A majority of viewers watch at least half the video, according to our data.
- YouTube’s massive Pre-Roll ad availability (and against good watchable content) keeps YouTube super relevant. However, Mixpo said that survey respondents (comprising 125 agencies and brands) plan to spend more in Facebook video advertising than YouTube in 2016.
While early indications show a favoritism toward Facebook advertising over YouTube, does that mean brands should abandon it?
Absolutely not! Both YouTube and Facebook serve distinct tactics, depending on your goals.
YouTube is a publishing giant and can reach a higher number of customer prospects through both organic video content and Pre-Roll/In-stream video ad placements. In contrast, Facebook excels at engaging your already-embraced community, or reaching new niche audiences that you exclusively want to target with advertising.
Bottom line: YouTube and Facebook are key in video marketing. This battle for video supremacy will undoubtedly go on for a long time – don’t put all your eggs in one basket.