No one can argue that YouTube is the ultimate when it comes to video binging. However, in the blue corner, a challenger has been quickly making its presence known in the video space.
Since June, Facebook users have watched an average of more than 1 billion videos per day on Facebook, with video views climbing 50% from May through July of this year, according to the company. More than 65% of video views are on mobile devices.*
Facebook has recently made changes that could be the punch combination that knocks YouTube to the canvas. Users will now be able to see view counts on videos as well as related videos which will help people discover similar content, which is trending in their network. Data consistently shows that video content performs the best on social, however we will now have a tangible way of quantifying the data that is easy for users to interact with at a glance. This is also a more solid way of reporting interaction on your content than the ever elusive organic reach.
This coupled with the viral nature of the Facebook platform may see it overtake YT in the video stakes. And that’s not all the new toys that they are giving us to play with, they have also implemented a handy ‘Call-To-Action’ button in native video to let users click to launch an external website or app to take further action and learn more. This is huge in terms of brand engagements and opportunities to convert fans.
It’s clear now that the launch of the auto play feature late last year was the first step in a take-down strategy. Their acquisition of video ad tech start up LiveRail in July this year ($400-$500 million claims for that one) was another tactic that will help Facebook own a bigger piece of the fastest growing internet ad medium.
We all visit YouTube to watch a video and quickly slip down the rabbit hole Alice-in-Wonderland style until we’re 10 cat videos deep and wondering how much time has gone by. Does it matter which platform this happens on? In all honesty, no.
At the end of the day, users are not loyalists to the platform. They will follow the content as long as it is easy, so it will be interesting to see how the match plays out, especially as it seems YouTube is focusing more and more attention on TV integration.
For now, let’s get some popcorn and enjoy the show!