With YouTube, FB and Twitter squaring off, where do you fit in?

Facebook eats into YouTube pie

In the US, the Super Bowl often provides insight into developing trends, and this year was no different. 

According to Business Insider: “Facebook has been putting in a lot of effort to grow its video service over the past year. That work paid off on Sunday [1 February] as the social network accounted for 25 per cent of all Super Bowl ad views, showing that Facebook is beginning to drastically cut into YouTube’s lead in the video market. For last year’s Super Bowl ads, Facebook video accounted for less than 1 per cent of online views while YouTube dominated with 94 per cent.”

to Visible Measures’ True Reach data, quoted by BI, the most viewed ad,
Budweiser’s “Lost Dog”, was viewed more than 57 million times. “More than half
of those views came from Facebook (29 million), rather than YouTube (24

In January, Facebook said in the last year people were posting 75 per cent more videos to the platform than the previous year, with the number of videos showing up in users’ news feeds up 360 per cent year-on-year.

And TechCrunch had some more detail from Facebook’s Q4 earnings call: “… there are 3 billion videos viewed on its site each day. With the company also reporting daily active users of 890 million, this works out to more than three videos (per user) per day.”

Its acquisition of QuickFire Networks in January is further highlight of its intentions. QuickFire compresses video to allow them to be downloaded with less bandwidth and without a loss in quality. 

Not to be outdone, Twitter also recently unveiled its native video play (along with a group messaging feature). From the company’s announcement: “Tweets have been more than 140 characters for some time. The Twitter you experience today is rich and immersive, full of images, gifs, Vines, audio files and videos from some of the world’s most recognisable figures and brands. And starting today, everyone will soon be able to seamlessly capture, edit and share videos right from the Twitter app, too.”

A new frontier established

Contently has a good blog post about it all here: “While YouTube has long been the king of the online video space, social media empires Facebook and Twitter are making big pushes to carve out their own slices of the fast-growing video advertising market. For content marketers using the platforms… the rise of native video players on social networks is going to significantly change the way content marketers create and distribute video content.” 

Contently has data showing the massive impact of auto-play (videos playing automatically as you scroll down your newsfeed) on Facebook’s video performance over others. “On the surface, Facebook claims auto-play is meant to increase engagement, and indeed it has. It also conveniently has the side effect of making embedded players from other sites (which don’t have auto-play) seem obsolete. 

“After only one quarter with the feature in place, Facebook witnessed a 134 per cent increase in native video plays and a 58 per cent increase in engagement — YouTube and others, meanwhile, saw none of the benefits. They’ve also made sure to minimise the effectiveness of YouTube… The Facebook player is big, bright and beautiful. The YouTube player, in comparison, is made to seem as ugly as possible. At a quick glance, you can barely tell that there’s a video to play.” [There is a Mashable story about a decrease in YouTube videos on the FB newsfeed here.]

What it means for marketers

The Drum, in this article, describes 2014 as “a transformational year for video with YouTube and Vine super-users drawing bigger crowds than traditional Hollywood stars, the Ice Bucket Challenge teaching us all how easy it is to upload our own video and platforms like Facebook and Twitter pushing us to do it on their on ‘native’ platforms.”

The Drum considers the impact: “Whilst the latter point is certainly an added complication for marketers, opportunities to promote the video content they do create to broader audiences should ultimately make the production investment more justifiable. The days of popping a video on YouTube and simply linking it from your other channels do however seem to be over – Buzzfeed stopped doing so and started Facebook’s native player over a year ago.” 

And what it means for media companies

In John
Herman’s opinion (writing for The Awl, see his
piece here
) for
media companies the shift to Facebook video means “that Facebook is more
interested in hosting the things media companies make than just spreading them,
that it views links to outside pages as a problem to be solved, and that it
sees Facebook-hosted video as an example of the solution. A company that
uploads its videos to Facebook is not the ‘publisher’ of those videos. At best,
it produced them.”

Facebook is in a dominant position, and according to Mashable, media companies are faced with “a significant question: can they possibly resist Facebook’s offer? Not going the native route means leaving millions of views on the table along with the money that goes with it. Going with native means handing even more power over to Facebook. Damned if you don’t, damned if you do.

“Media companies will not necessarily
need to abandon their websites altogether. Facebook could easily make its video
player embeddable, allowing outlets to save face. Facebook would still have the
video and control the ad dollars.

“The reality of the situation, however, would seem to lead to digital media companies taking on the role of studios [i.e. producing content] more than publishers.”

What do you think? Email Cobus at cobus@fipp.com with your thoughts.

Social, mobile and video in the FIPP Innovation World Report 

Driving the above trends is the power of social and mobile, combined. FIPP’s Innovation in Magazine Media 2015 World Report has chapters with case studies on each (among chapters looking at other innovations).

As in previous years, the report will be launched at the Digital Innovators’ Summit in Berlin on 23-24 March 2015.

Want to be a part of the report? We have display and native advertising opportunities available. Simply email Helen Bland, head of FIPP Insight, or Andre Glazier, FIPP’s commercial manager, for more. You can also call them on +44 (0) 20 7404 4169. Also ask them how you can get involved with the monthly FIPP Innovation newsletter, which builds on the World Report. Download the FIPP Insight Media Pack for more about our commercial opportunities.

The 2015 Innovation World Report will be available in digital and print formats. FIPP members and DIS delegates get free access to digital editions. Email Helen or FIPP Insight marketing executive Sylkia Cartagena to pre-order.

Here are four, short chapter previews:

·         On social media “science”

·         On newsletters’ comeback

·         On live events

·         On how Kickstarter supports print

Want more FIPP Innovation?

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And don’t forget to join us at the Digital Innovators’ Summit in March and at the FIPP World Congress in October (which includes the FIPP Innovation Forum 2015).

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