In this guest piece, Kyle Zenchyson (pictured below), content strategist at SEO agency DEJAN, argues why it may not be long at all before YouTube no longer becomes the most desirable platform for marketers or users to post videos.
More users and marketers are posting videos direct to Facebook than ever before since the social media giant introduced native video uploads a couple of years ago.
But is Facebook doing a better job than the pioneers of online video publishing themselves – YouTube?
The power of a share
It’s a given – as a source of videos spanning a tremendous variety of topics and interests, YouTube still has the edge over Facebook.
It’s easier to navigate, filter and search for the kind of video you want to watch, and most people will say they’re happy with the recommendations of related videos YouTube generates.
But when you come across a video you want to share with your friends or peers, what’s the next step?
That video is shared straight to a social media feed – most likely on Facebook.
From YouTube’s perspective, this was ok. The video still clocks up views, and Facebook’s users can watch some pretty and (hopefully) relevant content. Everybody wins.
Native Facebook videos are now being shared at a much higher rate on the social platform than an embedded YouTube link, according to new research on Forbes.
Does this mean Facebook has already started favouring its own videos over YouTube’s?
What marketers are doing
If there’s a better chance of a video getting more engagement as a direct native upload to Facebook, then why bother posting on YouTube in the first place?
A lot of big brands will have YouTube channels as well as amateur and full-time ‘YouTubers’. Traditionally, this has been a source for a social media marketer or a digital coordinator to create an embedded link to post on a website or social channel.
It can also be a way of curating a selection of videos to show the world, similar to a portfolio. But Vimeo kind of does this better anyway, especially for those in more creative fields.
There are some dedicated followers who will post comments directly below the YouTube video as an initial action, but more people will like or share before commenting.
This leaves YouTube in an awkward place for offering marketers value in the future. Facebook videos even measure the same metrics as YouTube – maybe with even more insight from the context of assessing a wider digital or social media strategy.
There’s no need to go back and forth between platforms grabbing statistics when it can all be done from Facebook. Then there’s all that extra juicy data obtained from Facebook users.
Australian content marketers are already starting to use Facebook to post videos more than YouTube, according to a survey by video marketing agency Global Pictures.
When is the tipping point?
There’s no doubt YouTube still has a massive audience dedicated to watching videos. YouTube reaches more than a billion people, or one third of everyone on the internet, and more than half watch on mobile.
But Facebook has more active users (1.28 billion daily on average for March) and a higher ceiling for growth.
Enter other platforms like Snapchat into the equation, and YouTube’s dominance over online video looks less certain. More than 10 billion videos are watched every day on Snapchat, according to AdWeek.
It may not be long at all before YouTube no longer becomes the most desirable platform for marketers or users to post videos.