Over the past year, there has been a spike in the debate between Facebook and YouTube videos. As Facebook’s video watchers are rapidly increasing, there are many pressing questions being raised. One of the biggest questions is – should Google be worried?
The answer to this question is much more complex than one might think. Yes, there are studies and research and statistics, but comparing the two companies is comprised of so many levels and facets that trying to sift out a clear answer can prove difficult.
What are the facts?
When looking at the qualitative facts, it appears as though the answer is clear – No, Google should not be worried. YouTube is currently over double the size of Facebook and has double the views and hours of video watched per day over Facebook as well. From these numbers, it seems like there is no question over who is dominating the online video industry.
However, many people would argue with the answer the facts give, saying that in reality the answer is – Yes, Google should be worried. There are several reasons for this, the first being that in the past year, Facebook video watching – in both number of views and hours watched – has more than doubled. In the past, it has been said that Facebook’s large reported numbers are due to its autoplay feature, but in an attempt to become the dominator of the online video watching sector, Facebook’s latest reports have been done in the same manner as YouTube’s. That is, tracking hours watched rather than number of views – and these reports show that Facebook video is in a period of exponential growth.
The second reason that people believe Google should be worried about Facebook is the way the sector is dividing, with Facebook trending more towards shorter videos that are stumbled upon and YouTube trending more towards longer videos that are being sought out to watch.
For instance, Uniqlo just released a new video campaign called “This Way To Utopia” that has been released on both YouTube and Facebook.
On Facebook, the film has over 520,000 views, while the YouTube version has only 3,000 views. Possibly this is due to the way Facebook features advertisements, or possibly this is due to Facebook’s autoplay feature (since this is a “number of views” report). But whatever the reason, this statistic shows the huge gap between the number of views on Facebook and YouTube and it is not favourable for YouTube.
Facebook seems to be leading ahead in the competition for most successful adverts among other categories as well. Earlier this year Unicef released an advert entitled “Born Into Danger” both on Facebook and on Youtube and, once again, the video on Facebook has over 12 million views, while the YouTube count remains at around 38,000. This campaign, while wildly different from Uniqlo’s, is experiencing the same tendency – that the best place to place their video is Facebook.
YouTube is, and has been from the start, a widely successful company that has proved reliable and useful to its consumers, and certainly that will not be forgotten in the near future. So whether or not Google needs to be worried about YouTube is hard to say for certain, but clearly Facebook is doing something right in the video world right now.
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About the author
Max is our resident branded content account manager. He regularly works with high-end brands and agencies such as Nike, Red Bull and Microsoft so his brain is full of marketing insights.