Earlier this month, Facebook revealed that the number of video posts per person has increased 75% globally and 94% in the US. Shortly thereafter, SocialBakers reported that brands on Facebook posted 20,000 more Facebook videos than YouTube videos last month.
These stats have sparked a lot of discussion about video marketing throughout the industry. We caught up with marketing consultant Brian Honigman, who wrote a great piece earlier this week called "Facebook Video vs. YouTube: Maximizing Results in the Evolving Video Landscape." He shared some additional thoughts on the subject with us.
How could Facebook continue to lure brands away from a YouTube-first strategy?
"I think the most aggressive move Facebook could make is to aggregate all of their videos onto a central page and incorporate their Social Graph search and 'Trending Topic' algorithms to make all of the videos on the site easy to find either by what's popular on the whole or what's popular amongst your friends," Honigman tells WebProNews. "Search is where YouTube currently has an edge, and Facebook incorporating their own unique approach to search is the final step towards becoming a direct competitor."
That would certainly be an interesting move from the social networking giant. The company has already shown that it's starting to take search more seriously, particularly with the addition of post-based search.
In Honigman's article, he talks about Facebook's algorithm favoring its own videos over YouTube's, and notes that Facebook videos get further preferential treatment with the autoplay feature. Is it wise for marketers to adopt a Facebook-first strategy with their videos?
"Right now I don’t think either necessarily should come 'first," says Honigman. "I would say to either use them in conjunction (like Buzzfeed does) to get as many views as possible, or to use one to compliment the other."
"While Facebook can be counted on for viral lift, if your video doesn’t 'pop' on Facebook it will vanish pretty quickly, whereas slow and steady evergreen content can pay dividends for a long time on YouTube," he adds.
Honigman's article makes an interesting point about how social networks like Facebook have historically been half of the equation for what makes YouTube videos go viral With more video originating on Facebook and Facebook controlling its algorithm, one may wonder if Facebook itself in the driver's seat with what actually becomes viral.
Honigman says, "I don’t know if either platform has ever decided WHAT became viral. What I can say is that Facebook is certainly in the position to decide WHERE things become viral."
Let's not forget about Twitter, whose video offering is apparently on the way very soon.
Asked about how he sees this factoring into the landscape, Honigman says, "Twitter’s last experiment with video was Vine. While this has been interesting and constitutes a unique following worth paying attention to, it definitely didn’t make the splash everyone hoped. Twitter is definitely supposed to offer improved video functionality soon, and I’d imagine they could seriously disrupt Facebook’s strategy of edging into the viral niche. That being said, Facebook has a serious head start and always will."
Facebook further emphasized video at Adexchanger’s Industry Preview conference as it indicated that it's moving away from Facebook Exchange (FBX) as mobile continues to become a greater focus. AdExchanger managing editor Zach Rodgers, who interviewed Facebook's VP of Advertising David Fischer, retweeted some video-related tweets from the session:
— Rich Greenfield (@RichBTIG) January 22, 2015
— VideoNuze (@VideoNuze) January 22, 2015
While video exploded this year, no pre-roll video in the (known) future at Facebook - David Fischer at FB #ip2015
— John Bell (@jbell99) January 22, 2015
Facebook says 13.5 million people watched White House Facebook videos related to the State of the Union Address.
YouTube has dominated video for a long time, and will certainly remain a top player for the foreseeable future, but it's looking like 2015 is set to be a big year for mobile video with that dominance being further challenged.
Image via SocialBakers