Has Facebook Video knocked YouTube off its perch?

Until very recently, Facebook was simply not a destination for video content – but as with all things in the digital world, change has come quickly. Today, instead of sharing YouTube videos, many brands are choosing to upload their content directly to Facebook – but is this the right move?

Since January last year, Social Media analytics company, Socialbakers, has been monitoring and measuring the differences in interactions brand content receives on different social media sites. As the graph below demonstrates, the trend is very clear; by December 2014 Facebook Video posts were receiving 80% of the total interactions a piece of brand content received.


It comes as no surprise then that Marketers are now turning to Facebook video first – and the trend seems to be picking up speed.


But is this the right move?

On January 13th 2015 Marvel Entertainment ran an experiment of their own, posting the new trailer for their upcoming Avengers movie on both YouTube and Facebook at exactly the same time. Three days in (at the time of writing this post), the YouTube video has:

  • 318,438 shares on Facebook
  • 46,042 shares on Twitter
  • 108,177 YouTube likes

In comparison, the Facebook video has:

  • 120,776 shares on Facebook
  • 40 shares on Twitter
  • 170,830 Facebook likes

Where these numbers seem to suggest that YouTube is still dominating (at least when it comes to Marvel movie trailers) what this really highlights is that there are big audiences on both platforms. Combined the trailer has almost 21million views.

There are pros and cons to both networks. YouTube is a video sharing platform, and doesn’t require people to have an account to view the content. Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm, on the other hand, means that with one mouse click (like or share) the video can be shared to a much wider audience than is possible through YouTube alone.

When push comes to shove, the real question should be what a brand wants to achieve with their video content. If views are all that matter, then YouTube is still by far the most dominant for viral success. But for those brands looking to drive conversation, and help spread their brand awareness far and wide, Facebook Video now offers a real alternative. However, as the Marvel example demonstrates, perhaps the best course of action for now is to use both platforms together.

Author: Edward Bell (Senior Creative)