5 Reasons Why Facebook Video Is Killing Youtube


Facebook have been making a big push into video recently. You probably noticed it during the ice bucket challenge or by the fact that most times when you log into Facebook on desktop or mobile the first thing you'll generally see these days is a video. I first experienced the magic of Youtube when I uploaded a video in 2006 and it got 100,000 views. Since then I'd never use another platform because it just wouldn't make sense but today I uploaded a video to Facebook and completely bypassed Facebook. The results were staggering and it got me thinking about why I'd use Facebook over Youtube in the future.

1. Incredible Viral Reach

When you post a link on Youtube you are very reliant on it "exploding" on other platforms. There is just so much content on Youtube that for the best stuff to be seen it either needs to be tweeted, shared on Facebook or embedded into blogs and websites. Facebook on the other hand is like the modern day newspaper. Take for example the video I shared today featuring Bressie talking about depression. On Youtube that would have taken loads of outreach, ads and pushing it to people I knew but because the content was so good and it was shared on Facebook with people able to hit the share button it got 20,000 views in the first 4 hours.


2. Facebook Are Choking Youtube Links

You don't tend to see many Youtube links on Facebook anymore. That is clearly a strategy that Facebook are pursuing (anti trust anybody? Youtube videos will of course still live in a bunch of other platforms and get embedded all over the place but without any oxygen on the biggest social sharing platform the world has ever seen they won't be getting as many views as before.


3. Advertising

Youtube advertising is a huge beast and it has turned them into a multi billion dollar business but we all know that it is a broken model. Nobody wants a pre-roll ad. That is a broken experience. The banner ads are clicked on as an accident as best. In terms of discovery you can get views when people search for certain terms but that just isn't a blockbuster video. In short despite their scale Youtube have never really cracked ads. Compare that to Facebook who have the most targeted database in the world. Imagine your video featuring a popular beer. You can have that video seen by every single person in the world who likes beer or drill down to different locations or demographics. The potential with Facebook video advertising around discovery is astounding.



Youtube have always had a comment problem and that is purely down to the fact that people could mostly comment on there anonymously. Youtube tried to fix it with Google + but that was a complete and utter disaster. Facebook on the other hand is tied to your personal identity. People are way less likely to troll or leave dodgy comments when it is liked to their real profile. Add in the fact that you can tag friends in comments and like comments and you have a much better system and good comments will surface to the top.


5. Much Deeper Analytics

I always thought that the biggest hole in Youtube's offering were their analytics. Everything was centred around views, likes and comments. Facebook are very early in terms of their push into video but their analytics already blow Youtube out of the water. I understand who is viewing my video, where they are from and what else they like. By the time Facebook get to leading video provider in the world they will have the most incredible and detailed analytics in the world for video ever.


Whats Next?

Facebook are clearly taking the battle to Youtube and it is early doors but they have a lot left to do. Youtube isn't going to vanish overnight and it will still be a big player but this is what Facebook need to do to make even bigger strides...

  • Improve their video streaming quality
  • Improve the process of embedding content (Youtube's big strength)
  • SEO on Google (finding videos on the web which will be hard given that is Google's space)
  • Discover (finding Facebook videos is still hard)

Nail all those things and I've no doubt Facebook will be the biggest video platform in the world.

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Written By

Niall Harbison

Niall founded Lovin' Dublin with a few fairly simple aims: discover new places to eat in Dublin and share simple recipes cooked up in his kitchen.