Facebook Takes the Lead in HD Video

Facebook is on fire lately with the launch of its Facebook Connect platform and opening up its data to developers outside of the Facebook walled-garden.  Last night, the company launched another major initiative, this time with its Facebook Video service.

Now, videos are for the first time, Facebook videos will be 1) streamed in HD 720p, and 2) easily embeddable on third party websites.  Facebook touts over 45 million videos uploaded to the service since Facebook Video launched last year, and users upload over 100,000 videos to the site per day.

YouTube quietly launched HD video on their own Friday morning, but Google has yet to make any announcements around the extend of YouTube’s HD service. Facebook is the first major social network to publicly announce, launch, and integrate HD video for their users.

YouTube leads video sites at nearly 144 million videos. Users upload over 65,000 videos per day and stream over 100 million video views per day.  Facebook has a lot to do in order to catch up, but given their current growth over the last year, YouTube is surely looking out for how fast Facebook Video grows.

Facebook has worked hard to ensure every element of the experience secures the privacy of users, and video is no exception.  Facebook has also enabled their privacy controls over the videos you can embed on your website, giving the video owner full and complete control over who can and can’t view the videos they upload.

It will be very interesting to see if and how they integrate these privacy elements around video into the Facebook Platform and Facebook Connect.  It could be an interesting combination to allow website owners to display video differently depending on who can and can’t view the video itself.  This feature alone, in my opinion, puts Facebook head and shoulders above the rest.

Here’s an interview by Robert Scoble with Chris Putnam, lead Facebook Video engineer:

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