Facebook Made YouTube Blink – Here's Why You Should Care

Originally published on the Silent Partner Marketing on By Kyle Reyes
Facebook Made YouTube Blink - Here's Why You Should Care
You’ve taken the giant step of creating video content to connect with your audience. But now what?
Until now, YouTube was the answer. But now the video giant is getting knocked around by Facebook and all of a sudden is on the defensive.
Last October, I wrote about how Facebook was starting to deliver a beating to YouTube.
In August of 2014, Facebook passed YouTube for the number of video views on desktop – delivering nearly a billion more views.
There were two caveats.
1) YouTube was still holding the title for mobile plays.
2) Facebook counted video views based on their autoplay feature, something that YouTube didn’t have.
Bottom line? The numbers are starting to move in favor of Facebook…but given the lack of necessary engagement to move the dial, would it make a difference?
Apparently YouTube thinks it does.
Starting just a few weeks ago, YouTube started rolling out a similar autoplay feature for related videos. It’s sort of like Vimeo’s “couch” feature where you could sit back and enjoy the ongoing show.
That’s right – YouTube blinked. And for good reason.
Since rolling out autoplay in 2013, Facebook has seen video plays go to 1 billion per day in June of 2014 and more than 3 billion per day in the fourth quarter. And they are just warming up.
At it’s F8 developers conference last week, Facebook rolled out two new features.
1) The first is embeddable videos. With this new module, videos uploaded directly to Facebook will be easily embeddable into other websites without needing to include the entire Facebook post.
2) Facebook is growing a continuous autoplay feature, with the goal in site of keeping video viewers watching video after video.
They are both incredibly smart moves. First of all, the autoplay feature on Facebook videos makes pre-roll video ads much less effective than on YouTube, where people are willing to sit through ads (usually) to get the content that they specifically clicked to consume. Not the case on Facebook, where people are just being automatically served up a video. But with the Facebook embedding technology moving forward, the concept is that more people will be willing to sit through an ad on an embedded video because they made the decision to click and watch the video.
Second, Facebook counts a video view as 3 seconds of continuous playback. In fairness, that could mean that you’re not actually watching the video…but rather reading the post above it. Moving into the continuous autoplay, Facebook gets to make the decision for you as to whether the video will play again.
I’m not much of a gambling man – but if I were, I’d put my money in two places:
1) Facebook. Their ability to hyper-target using a massive stockpile of consumer behavior data from third party and first party services will help marketers continue to get the right message to the right person at the right time.
2) Whoever is monetizing streaming data. Verizon, AT&T. I don’t give a damn who it is – all that I know is that all of this automatic streaming video is going to shoot data usage through the roof.
Time for your thoughts. What are you doing with video…and where are you seeing success?