Facebook Advises Pages Against Posting YouTube Videos

Chris CrumSocial Media

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Facebook is making it clearer and clearer to Page owners that they're more likely to see better reach if they post native Facebook videos as opposed to videos from YouTube or other services.

Are you having any luck reaching fans with non-Facebook videos? Let us know in the comments.

According to a report from AdWeek's SocialTimes, some Page admins have been seeing a message when they try to post external video links that says:

People are more likely to see and engage with your video post when you upload your video directly to Facebook. You can also track the success of Facebook native videos in Page insights.

Just as Google is said to favor results from its own services in its search results, Facebook is clearly favoring content from its own platform in the News Feed.

This is nothing to new to savvy marketers, but Facebook is really going out of its way to convince others who are just going the YouTube route that they should really reconsider. My guess is that is succeeding in convincing many, as the company makes move after move that lead to a decrease in the overall organic reach of Page posts. Pages will try anything that will help expand that reach.

Socialbakers recently released some research comparing the average organic reach of different types of posts. While photos used to dominate that, things have changed a great deal, and videos are much more likely to see better reach than any other type of post these days.

“Because photos were the long-dominant post type, they are both the most common type of post and the most frequently promoted,” SocialBakers said in a blog post. “That alone would be enough to make them less effective than they were at their peak, but coupled with the introduction of videos in Q3 2014, the decline in photo reach has been sudden.That all adds up to a lot of competition for decreasing space.”

“The real growth point today is in videos,” it added. “While they are relatively more promoted than photos – 27% of all videos are promoted, compared to 17% of photos – there are so many more photos than videos that the new format is still far more effective at reaching audiences.”

The firm also said that just looking at organic reach for brands’ Fans, not including non-Fans who also get post impressions, videos are still “much more effective than photos” with a 148% increase in reach.

The data for that particular report went up through February 4. It will be interesting to see an update on this after several more months, which have been full of stories about Facebook video.

“Looking ahead, we believe video will play a significant role in bringing more marketers to mobile,” said Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg during the company's recent earnings conference call. “More than 75% of global video views on Facebook occur on mobile – and we believe mobile video will become more important to marketers over time.

"I think all marketers have the opportunity to do video, and that’s pretty exciting, including SMBs who would never be able to hire a film crew and buy a TV ad. We’re seeing those put videos in," she said. "Over 1 million SMBs have posted videos and done really small ad buys around them. And that’s pretty cool because I don’t think there are probably 1 million advertisers who have bought TV ads in that same period of time.”

As far as Facebook versus YouTube, when it comes to video posting, you're probably best off utilizing both. Visible Measures recently put out research comparing the effectiveness of both channels.

“If something is hot and of the moment, such as a newly released campaign, the Super Bowl, or even a cultural phenomenon like Fifty Shades of Grey, Facebook and similar social media sites are incredibly effective for driving the spread of timely content due to the trending nature of the News Feed,” said CEO Brian Shin. “But the strength of Facebook to promote trending content also highlights how powerful YouTube remains as a platform for continued viewership.”

“Content discovery on Facebook is very much dependent on the Facebook News Feed, which is a function of what a user’s friends are sharing, as well as recommendations based on trends and a user’s interests. Because discovery is so dependent on sharing, viewership soon after content gets hot’ is strongest on Facebook,” the firm added. “Conversely, YouTube acts as a depository for video and millions of users go there first, or arrive via Google search, to find video content. This user paradigm enables videos to have a much longer shelf-life on YouTube.”

Brands are only going to continue to post more and more Facebook videos as both organic and paid posts. Businesses across the board are increasing their digital video budgets. Will the organic reach of videos last as everyone scrambles to post more of them, or will their effectiveness dwindle similar to that of photos?

Do you think the impact of Facebook videos will last? Should Facebook give those uploaded directly to the social network special treatment? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Image vis Socialbakers

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.