Facebook VS YouTubeInternet marketers know that video is HOT! Another hot topic in the internet marketing community right now is Facebook video.  Earlier some pundits predicted that 2015 would be the year that Facebook video grabbed a  top spot at the head table. I don’t mean sharing a YouTube video on Facebook, I mean videos uploaded to Facebook. The battle is well under way.

Statistics released by Facebook underscore the company’s ambitions to be a serious rival to YouTube in the video space.

For starters, more than 1 billion videos are watched on the Facebook every day, starting back in June 2014. Then in November 2014 the number of videos uploaded directly to Facebook overtook YouTube videos on the network for the first time.

According to Facebook’s stats on Venture Beat, the number of videos posted per person in the U.S. increased by 94% over the last year. And those videos are getting eyeballs, with  some 50% of Americans using Facebook on a daily basis watching at least one video on Facebook every day. And, users are seeing nearly four times more video in their news feeds were there just a year ago. .

None of this happened by accident.  Facebook is on the move … making it happen.

Not that long ago Facebook wasn’t considered a  serious venue for video. This massive change came about as a result of  a concerted effort by Facebook to encourage video producers to upload videos directly to the platform. In making the platform more producer friendly Facebook provided more tools for video creators and introduced auto play on videos, making the network more video friendly..

Facebook’s blog post about their stats also provides guidelines for producing videos “your audience will want to watch and share,” encouraging users to “post raw videos that are compelling, shareable, clips that no one else will have.”

As always, the proof is in the pudding, which in this case is real world performance.

Some video producers are already seeing videos they upload to Facebook out-performing their YouTube counterparts.

Even better, in addition to its massive audience, Facebook  provides some great features including:

  • Facebook videos can autoplay in the timeline! – Grab attention right away with video that plays automatically as people scroll through
  • Calls To Action Built-In! – If you know how to use it, you can add calls to action to your videos
  • A YouTube-Like Video page – Just like youtube, you can now have a dedicated page for your videos
  • And again, that massive audience. It  is a ‘push’ audience, meaning producers can get your videos in front of people, even when they aren’t searching for it.

For now, YouTube holds the seat at the head of the video table. But Facebook is edging its chair closer to the top spot by encouraging video uploads, leveraging  its user base and acquiring video related properties such as video compression company QuickFire and video ad platform LiveRail.

So, for those marketers who are deploying video or are thinking about doing so this could be a great time to jump in and test the video waters on Facebook. One of the key things to remember when creating video for Facebook is that videos will be displayed in the News Feed. People will find your video in their News Feed next to content from friends and family so, your videos need to fit in. And, even better they should be engaging enough for your audience to want to watch and share it.