Facebook beats YouTube at its own game? What’s really going on here?

Facebook beats YouTube at its own game? What’s really going on here?

The social media world is all atwitter today over a chart and a video on Beet.TV with comScore’s cofounder Gian Fulgoni. According to this chart, Facebook is beating YouTube at its own game. Here it is in black, red and blue: in August, Facebook passed YouTube in total number of video views on desktop in the US.

Crazy, right? We should all hurry over to Facebook and load a dozen videos, right?

Not so fast.

As Fulgoni points out in the video, Facebook has a secret weapon called auto-play. When a video appears in a person’s news feed it begins playing without sound. Facebook counts that as a view. As a marketer, do you count auto-play without sound as a view?

There’s no question that video is exploding on Facebook. Here’s what they had to say about it back in September;

Growth in video views exceeded 50% 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% of video views are on mobile. And we’re just getting started.

Facebook is doing their part by pushing videos up higher in the rankings and offering more videos when a user watches one. It’s video-palooza over on Facebook, we got that, but is anyone actually paying attention?

And since Facebook brought up mobile, let’s talk mobile. Plenty of people are angry over auto-play.

Caroline Greenhalgh Baxter says: “I went over my data limit for the first time in May, I turned off Facebook videos and haven’t been anywhere near my limit since.”

Then we have Mark Zuckerberg, pushing for global connectivity through internet.org.

More than 85% of the world’s population lives in areas with existing cellular coverage, yet only about 30% of the total population accesses the internet. So for most people, the barrier to connectivity isn’t a signal, it’s the ability to afford data. Developers can play a key role in bringing down the cost of the internet by building more data efficient apps for communities where data is less accessible.

We need more inexpensive data plans in more countries, so more people can have access to auto-play video!

Back on track now. Video on Facebook is booming and if you can create a video that makes people stop scrolling, turn on the sound and actually watch, then you’re golden. But, in spite of what this chart seems to indicate, YouTube is still the place to go if you want people to pay attention.


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