Facebook Video vs. YouTube

One of the most surprising things I learned while working on the 2014 midterms was the emergence of Facebook video.  Embedded YouTube videos have never performed particularly well on Facebook.  That being said, Facebook has always been an incredibly important platform for expanding the reach of a video because of its sharing functionality.  A “share” on Facebook is valuable because you are exposed to a network of people that you might not have otherwise been able to reach. 

Recently, Facebook has put a larger emphasis on natively uploaded video in their newsfeed.  Natively uploaded Facebook videos play automatically in your newsfeed, ensuring that more people will be exposed to your video than embedded YouTube videos.  Facebook’s algorithm also seems to favor content that is natively uploaded on the platform itself.  This has resulted in an exponential increase in the number of views that Facebook videos receive.  In fact, according to Facebook, their users are now watching 4 BILLION views per day.   

In 2014, one of the most popular videos for Udall for Colorado received only 1,276 on YouTube, but over 17,000 views when natively uploaded to Facebook.  This can be directly attributed to the fact that the video was shared over 200 times on Facebook, which meant that a much larger network of people that were not  “fans” of the Udall for Colorado Facebook page were exposed to the video.   

YouTube is still the clear leader in overall audience, but Facebook's explosive growth in video views is significant.  Rather than embedding YouTube videos on Facebook, we are encouraging our clients to upload videos directly to Facebook that are optimized for sharing directly on the Facebook platform.  Instead of “cannibalizing” your view count, we believe that this will expose your content to a different audience.