Is Facebook video a threat to YouTube?


In May, Facebook rolled out an update on releasing video metrics, wherein users will get information on total video views, unique video views, the average duration of the video view and audience retention. This indeed was a great update for marketers! Some brands still love listening to the term GRPs and it seems like Facebook is bridging the gap between TV and online video by introducing this measuring unit. But that’s not it.

Lately, I started noticing the number of views on some videos and it looks like the Facebook video view update is out!


So how is this going to affect advertisers/page owners?

If a brand has a YouTube channel, every video post is expected to have high number of views. Brands usually opt for the support of paid media and organic shares (depending on the content). Usually, YouTube videos are also promoted on Facebook, but now will this still be practiced? Once Facebook rolls out the video views in all markets, what will be the impact of users uploading videos on YouTube? Will there be a shift in user behavior? These are few questions brands and users will have to answer.

To experiment, i shared a video on Facebook that was uploaded on YouTube and a video that was uploaded on Facebook. As you can see, there is quite a significant difference in the size of the post.


Again, so how is this going to affect advertisers/page owners?

Well, it surely depends on what is the core objective of uploading the video and the nature of its content. If page owners plan to boost videos on Facebook, there is going to be quite a higher possibility of gaining more views in comparison to a video uploaded on YouTube. Advertisers will be forced to upload videos directly on Facebook, so as to have a bigger ad unit and expect more virality since the video will reside in a social space. Brands will now have to spend on both YouTube and Facebook to increase views, just in case organic shares aren’t working for them… OR may be just invest in one platform.

Moreover, the recent auto play feature Facebook rolled out was for a reason. They claimed “Growth in video views exceeded 50%from May through July of this year, and since June there has been an average of more than 1 billion video views on Facebook every day. Video on Facebook was built to be mobile firstand now more than 65% of video views are on mobile. And we’re just getting started.” (Source:Facebook)

Ofcourse, the user had no control on playing the video, thanks to the Auto-play feature.

A threat to YouTube?

I do not think this will affect YouTube drastically, however there will be damage. Facebook surely has differentiated between a video hosted on home ground and YouTube. Brands will now have to invest in both platforms or may be one takes it all. A game changer in the beginning …

Videos like Gangnam Style will be remembered to setting a record onlyon YouTube! Possibly, Facebook will roll out with something similar to Channels. Social measures will now include – Likes, Comments, Shares, Video Views (Facebook), Video Views (YouTube).

The Future is unknown but one thing is certain – If you don’t evolve, you dissolve. Facebook seems to have believed in this philosophy … keeping in mind new trends like WhatsApp and Snapchat are building their foot print, Facebook still manages to strive with active users.

So the million dollar (probably billion) question is, do you want more views on Facebook or YouTube?

Hameed Yousuf is the Digital Media Manager of BPG Maxus. This was originally posted on his LinkedIn account.

Top image courtesy of JuliusKielaitis /