Facebook is launching an embeddable video player, the company announced at its developers conference Wednesday afternoon.
Users will now be able to embed Facebook-hosted videos anywhere on the web, just like it’s possible to do with YouTube or Vimeo videos. This embeddable video player will become available to use today.
This is a big challenge to YouTube, and follows Facebook’s recent ramping up of its focus on video and lucrative video advertising. The company is already seeing 3 billion video streams on its site per day, a number which will likely swell dramatically once Facebook videos become available elsewhere on the web. (For comparison, YouTube hit 4 billion streams per day back in 2012.)
As we’ve previously reported, Facebook wasn’t even considered a destination for video until recently. Users and page owners would simply share YouTube links. Now, more and more video content is being uploaded to Facebook directly.
So much so that Facebook videos are even driving YouTube videos off Facebook.
- December marked the first time ever Facebook Page owners uploaded more videos directly to Facebook than they shared YouTube videos, according to data from Socialbakers.
- In February, Facebook accounted for 25% of all Super Bowl ad video views online and YouTube with 74% (last year Facebook video accounted for less than 1%, and YouTube 94%).
- Videos are also the number one way to ensure organic content from pages reaches users in the competitive news feed, according to Socialbakers. Facebook is making sure every time you visit the site you see a video.
This move into embeddable videos makes Facebook an even bigger competitor to YouTube at a time when the health of the streaming site’s business was already in the spotlight thanks to a Wall Street Journal piece that reported that YouTube still doesn’t make Google any money, despite its 1 billion viewers.
The Journal’s Rolfe Winkler reported that one of YouTube’s big struggles was that “YouTube users treat the site as a video repository to be accessed from links or embedded video players posted elsewhere, rather than visiting YouTube.com daily.”
That makes the increased competition from Facebook for embeddable video views even more significant.
The new embeddable video player isn’t the only way Facebook made a move against Google, either. The company also announced Wednesday that it’s adding features to its adtech platform, LiveRail, to make it more competitive with Google’s DoubleClick, and an app analytics platform that will compete with Google Analytics.
In an interview with Wired, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg shrugged off a question about an increased competition with Google.
“I think the people covering us think about things in terms of competition more than you actually do when you are running a company,” he said. “It’s fun to talk about a conflict between companies. But really, we have goals.”
He later addressed video specifically:
Video is growing very quickly on Facebook. A lot of people compare that to YouTube. I think that kind of makes sense. YouTube isn’t the only video service, but I think it’s the biggest and it probably makes more sense to compare Facebook video to YouTube rather than Netflix because that’s a completely different kind of content. When we are thinking about stuff like embeds we are not thinking about how we are competing with YouTube. We are thinking about how are we going to make it more useful for people to share stuff on Facebook.