Online video is a growing function of many social media websites because, it is valuable to understand how different social sites are using video and offering ad space for advertisers. Facebook in particular has been expanding their social site’s ability to encourage users to watch and upload video content. This provides some competition for YouTube. A few years back, Facebook decided to autoplay all of the videos on their site, cutting off the volume until the user decided to turn it on as a way to increase video views. A view counts if the video played for at least three seconds. Views are calculated in different ways based on the platform. For example, YouTube counts the total amount of time videos are played, and that sum is their value rather than individual plays. This can make it more challenging to compare and contrast which platform is more successful in engaging their audiences.
Although Facebook is experiencing significant growth in their viewership, YouTube is certainly standing their ground. At a NewFronts event lead by YouTube, Influencers John Green and Grace Helbig spoke about the advantage of using YouTube to advertise. Although they did not specifically say they were setting YouTube apart from FaceBook, their comments emphasized the upper hand YouTube has for online video advertising. They focused on highlighting the active communities that YouTube has generated around influencers, which is something Facebook has not done to the same degree. YouTube now contracts their creators in order to secure loyalty to their brand. Consumers are very loyal and dedicated to their creators of choice, so as an advertiser, it is important to understand the power of YouTube fandoms. While Facebook may have a larger user base, the unique communities of YouTube are very loyal and likely to listen to their influencer. Furthermore, YouTube is a destination to watch video whereas other platforms do not focus solely on video because there are fewer distractions on YouTube. On Facebook a new post, new message, or new notification could take attention away from a video.
One of the newest announcements from Facebook is their tv app for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Samsung Smart TV. This will make it possible for viewers to watch their friends’ shared videos, videos from pages they follow on their accounts, globally trending videos, and video recommendations. Facebook is introducing and expanding on three kinds of video ads. It will offer in-stream ads, like YouTube, expanded ad breaks for FaceBook live video, and ad breaks for videos uploaded to FaceBook. FaceBook profiles and pages that have more than 3,000 followers will be able to make money off of the advertisements in their videos.
With this innovation in video advertising, YouTube is fighting back with their own mobile app updated to allow live streaming. Creators with 10,000 or more subscribers will be able to live stream with advertisements. Since YouTube invests a lot in the education and support of their creators, these live events will most likely be higher quality than those on Facebook which are done by the average user. Although, as previously mentioned, Facebook has a higher user base, the number of completed views are much higher on YouTube due to Facebook’s auto play feature, which can lead to unengaged views. Therefore, right now, YouTube gives advertisers better value.
Written by Hayleigh Walton