Facebook video is on course to steal YouTube’s video sharing crown
YouTube should be scared of Facebook. It’s building a video powerhouse that Google may struggle to match, because it hasn’t managed to successfully build outa social graph like that of Facebook.
It’s only a matter of time until there are people that are dedicated “Faceviders” just like there are fanatical “YouTubers” who regularly upload videos to YouTube of their lives, or topics that are interesting to them.
Perhaps the days of being a YouTuber are numbered.
There’s a number of reasons to give your original videos straight to Facebook. First, it gives you almost guaranteed exposure right now. Add a video to a public post and the Newsfeed algorithm will shine in your favor and show it to a significant amount more people than any other type of post (like a photo or text-only update).
Take, for example, this video shared by Vox on Facebook. The page itself has 225,000 likes, but the video received over 1.1 million views since when it was shared on April 10. By contrast, the same video shared on YouTube has only received 85,000 views. That’s a serious amount of reach.
Facebook’s social graph is a potent advantage over YouTube. Videos come straight to the users, in their Newsfeed, where they’re already spending most of their time on the service. They don’t have to leave Facebook’s walled garden to find content.
On Facebook, the algorithm can drive huge traffic to your content, but it also could eventually fade to a pittance as the site becomes saturated with content.
The opportunity for videos to travel further than your own reach – like in the Vox example – is likely worth the risk. The big unknown is how long Facebook will stick with its current algorithm. There’s always the chance future changes will put some creators out in the cold. Just ask Zynga about its horrible year in 2012.
Facebook doesn’t have any way for creators to monetize videos right now, but when it finally delivers that, early adopters will win big.
Very soon you might just look to Facebook for those funny cat videos before you even think of YouTube, which is the first time a competitor has posed such a sizable threat to Google’s service. It’s unclear what Google will do to win those users back, as Facebook continues to quietly steal them away.