Facebook rolled out an update this May releasing video metrics, wherein users will get information on total video views, unique video views, the average duration of the video view and audience retention. Indeed, this was a great update for marketers. Some brands still love listening to the term ‘GRPs’ and it seems like Facebook is bridging the gap between TV and online video by introducing this measuring unit. But that’s not it.
How is this going to affect advertisers and page owners?
If a brand has a YouTube channel, every video is expected to have a high number of views, which is why brands usually opt for the support of paid media and organic shares – depending on the nature of the content. YouTube videos are also promoted on Facebook, but now will this practice continue? Once Facebook rolls out the video views in all markets, what will be the impact of users uploading videos on YouTube? Will there be a shift in user behavior? These are few questions brands and users will have to answer.
As a personal experiment, I shared a YouTube video on Facebook and uploaded another directly on Facebook. As you can see in the picture below, there is quite a significant difference in the size of the post.
Looking for answers
The answer depends on the core objective of uploading the video and the nature of its content. If page owners plan to boost videos on Facebook, there is going to be quite a high possibility of gaining more views in comparison to a video uploaded on YouTube that is shared on Facebook. Advertisers will be forced to upload videos directly onto Facebook, so as to have a bigger ad unit and expect more virality since the video will reside in a social space. Brands will now have to spend on both YouTube and Facebook to increase views, just in case organic shares aren’t working for them or look at investing in just one platform.
Even Facebook’s recent auto play feature has higher purpose according to its claim: “Growth in video views exceeded 50 percent from May through July of this year, and since June there has been an average of more than 1 billion video views on Facebook every day. Video on Facebook was built to be mobile first, and now more than 65 percent of video views are on mobile. And we’re just getting started.” Of course; the user had no control on playing the video, thanks to the auto–play feature.
A threat to YouTube?
I do not think the growth of Facebook videos will affect YouTube drastically, though there will be some damage. For now, brands will now have to invest in both platforms until they figure out which one gets the best results for the brand.
Videos like Gangnam Style will be remembered to setting a record only on YouTube. Possibly, Facebook will come up with its own version of YouTube’s Channels. Social measures will now have to expand to include likes, comments, shares, and video views on Facebook as well as video views on YouTube.
The future is yet unknown but one thing is certain: if you don’t evolve, you will dissolve. Facebook seems to have believed in this philosophy, keeping in mind that new trends like Whatsapp and Snapchat are growing its footprint, as it still manages to strive with active users.
So the million – probably even billion – dollar question is: do you want more views on Facebook or YouTube?