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Video Content: Facebook versus YouTube

facebook_videos_vs_youtubeFacebook has declared war on YouTube…well, in a sense. They’re not friends to say the least. YouTube is owned by Google, which Facebook considers a competitor in the audio visual content realm.

For years, Facebook Fan Page and Business Page managers and administrators have been creating videos on YouTube and then linking to those videos when posting a status update on Facebook. Facebook has offered the ability to directly upload videos to its platform for almost the same length of time but managers and administrators have been reluctant to adopt this option…until now.

But first, why the hesitation? Well, there’s actually a very good reason. Given that YouTube is owned by Google, who just happens to be the largest search engine in the world, video content published to YouTube assists businesses with search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. This is accomplished by assigning keywords and phrases to videos uploaded directly to YouTube, which allow for greater visibility and searchability. Basically, you don't want to say no to Google...

Even given this hesitation, Facebook Fan Page and Business Page managers and administrators can no longer afford NOT to publish their video content directly to Facebook. Here are three reasons why:

  1. Changes to Facebook's Algorithm - Facebook's going after YouTube, Vimeo, and other video content providers. Over the summer, Facebook made a very significant change to its algorithm. The algorithm now gives preference to its own video player when determining what content to show in people’s news feeds. This means that videos promoted from YouTube are less likely to be seen than video uploaded directly to Facebook.
  2. Mobile is King - Today, over 50 percent of people in the U.S. who come to Facebook daily watch at least one video per day, and globally, over 65 percent of Facebook video views occur on mobile devices. So, if you consider Facebook's preference to its own video player, you’re served well by publishing directly to Facebook so that your videos are also given preference on mobile devices.
  3. Facebook Video Embedding - In March, Facebook announced a much-anticipated update to "native" video that allows users to embed videos posted by pages into blog posts and websites much like embedding features for YouTube videos. This is a major blow to YouTube’s preeminence in the video world, and makes it even clearer that Facebook is looking to take over as the go-to video provider. This will also be of assistance to you because it will contribute to your original video’s views and comments, thus indicating to Facebook’s algorithm that the content is engaging and should be given better organic reach.

The simple lesson here is that social media managers and marketers should continue to publish video content to YouTube, primarily for the SEO benefits we mentioned above but not promoting those links on Facebook. Instead, they should be directly uploading those same videos to Facebook so that the “reach” of those videos satisfies the new changes to Facebook’s algorithm.

Both have their place and it’s important to know the reasons why.

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