In the red corner, weighing in with 10 years of experience and over 300 hours of video uploaded every minute, YouTube! In the blue corner, a newcomer to the video scene but rapidly gaining a strong fan base, Facebook! It surely comes as no surprise to you that these are the two major players in the online video scene. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, though one has taken notes from its elder and is starting to make its presence known on the timeline of online video. YouTube has been the hands down leader in online video for a decade with hardly any competition. Everything from baby’s first steps to their first fail can be found on YouTube. You might even be able to find video of your 1986 prom and that incredible mullet you rocked when you pulled up to your date’s house in a T-top Camaro…bitchin’! While YouTube had a death grip on the online-video market, Facebook’s strategy has found ways to loosen that grip over time.
Whose Throwing More Punches, Facebook or YouTube?
YouTube’s first quarter views in 2015 were 756,000,000,000. No, I didn’t accidentally throw three zeros into that number. Think about it for a bit, when you navigate to YouTube to watch a specific video, many times you’ll click on another video in the right-hand list of related videos. There, you’ve just watched two videos and that was in one visit. Multiply that by YouTube’s 1.3 billion strong fan-base and you have 2.6 billion video views in a matter of minutes. While 756 billion is an astonishing number, it is now pretty easy to see how they can obtain that over the span of three months. Sheer video volume is still dominated by YouTube but brands are rapidly turning to Facebook as the platform to upload their video and engagement is the primary reason for that.
Think about it, you likely spend far more time on Facebook than YouTube though not necessarily watching videos. You’re still on the site which means brands still have a chance to reach you. Plus, how often (if ever) do you leave a comment on a YouTube video or even give it thumbs up? If you think of videos as being punches thrown, YouTube is like Mike Tyson, throwing an endless fury knowing that one or two will land square to its target market. Facebook on the other hand is like Rocky, throwing less punches overall, but having them hit their target market each time. That makes releasing videos on Facebook much more effective and appealing to brands.
At the end of the day it all comes down to convenience for the user and Facebook is going to win in that area as average users are already there to see what’s going on in their friend’s lives, to wish someone a happy birthday, or like the latest cat video. As the competition evolves, it’s harder and harder to hold on to the title and YouTube is learning that with each passing round.