As Facebook recorded 66 per cent ad revenue from mobile, and its Messenger crossed the 500 million mark, the social media network also reached another important milestone. Its native videos reached one billion daily views and there were more than 10 billion views of the Ice Bucket Challenge videos by 440 million people.
Facebook is increasingly ramping up its video product to give competition to the likes of YouTube. In March 2014, the company started Premium Video Ads on Facebook, which would start playing without sound as it appears on screen and stop if people scroll past.
In a recent report by Social Bakers, YouTube was clearly ahead of Facebook in terms of video content in the beginning of the year. But as the year progressed, content marketers increasingly started uploading videos on Facebook directly. This led to a 50 per cent increase in May and July in the number of videos uploaded on Facebook. The Facebook videos are now trending to surpass YouTube by the end of the year, the report highlighted.
Facebook – the next destination for videos?
With the mobile gap covered by Facebook, it’s focussing its attention on the video space and looking to capture it. While sharing YouTube videos on Facebook is still common, the social media network has made a way to differentiate between the native videos and shared videos. The videos shared on Facebook appear smaller as compared to the native videos uploaded on the site, highlighting them on users’ News Feeds.
David Burch, International Spokesperson, TubeMogul, said, “The competition for brand budgets in digital video advertising will be intense in the next few years as brands continue to shift money from TV. Facebook is a powerful platform with huge daily audiences, and we believe social video will be very strong for brands as they seek to get their video ads in front of consumers. Pundits will play up the company’s rivalry with Google, but this misses the larger point of what’s happening in video.”
“Video is everywhere. Viewers watch TV shows on their tablets, YouTube videos on their phones, news clips on their computers. They read articles and watch videos on thousands of websites. Add all of that up and you realise that Facebook exists in a diverse landscape of broadcasters, media companies, video sites, long tail publishers and more,” Mr Burch added.
Even though India is one of Facebook’s biggest markets, it appears there is still time to go before the social media network makes a dent in videos there. Sandeep Amar, COO, India.com Media feels that Facebook is far from overtaking YouTube on videos. He said, “YouTube is the video destination right now. Users don’t go to Facebook to watch videos, they go to YouTube. Facebook also has to have a publisher ecosystem, like YouTube to be able to take over it. Facebook is a great place to view videos, but YouTube is the place to upload them. Facebook still does not have an upload strategy as it does not allow basic features like embedding a video.”
Rohit Dadwal, Managing Director, Mobile Marketing Association APAC said,”Facebook and YouTube are both ubiquitous in the lives of digital-savvy consumers, so I do think the move by Facebook to introduce video will impact YouTube in some way or the other.
YouTube will continue to have a place in the spread of digital video due to its strong search, discovery, and recall features. The platform has evolved to become a sort of archive for video content, something that Facebook has not said it will try to recreate. YouTube also allows access to content without a login which means that content on the platform can be shared, embedded, or linked to, from any platform, ultimately generating more views.”
How can brands take advantage of this situation where they can choose either platform? “We believe that the best way for brands to navigate this complexity and ensure a good return on investment from their video advertising is to centralise their campaigns via programmatic software. As more brands move to audience-buying strategies, it won’t matter where a viewer is watching – advertisers will be there with relevant messaging,” Mr Burch said.
“Ultimately, as important as it is for advertisers to know they’re appearing on the world’s largest social network, it’s equally as important for them to be able to quantify results and make comparisons to other sites and formats,” Mr Burch concluded.