24 Jan 2015

Has YouTube begun dying a slow death?

Has YouTube begun dying a slow death feature image

Often viewed as a virtual monopoly, YouTube remains the daddy of the viral video-hosting family. And whilst older sibling Vimeo is perceived to be more credible within the community, it’s nowhere near as popular. So that just leaves us with adolescent Vine who’s never around for more than 6 seconds, and newly born Instagram Video which is yet to make more than a childlike whimper in the online scene. “But hang on a minute!” I hear you cry. “What about the noisy neighbour who houses more than a billion people and goes by the ever familiar name, Facebook.” Well yes, you make a good point… Not content with simply dominating the photo world, it would seem that Mark and the gang have set their sights on video – and in doing so may have just administered a slow yet fatal poison into the helpless mouth of daddy YouTube.


Excessive metaphors aside, the rapid adoption and spread of Facebook video is staggering. Zuckerberg & co now boast more than a billion daily views on their platform, and earlier this year they overtook YouTube in terms of total desktop viewers. Many claim this huge surge in watchers is merely down to the fact that Facebook videos autoplay on user’s newsfeeds. But If that were true, then Facebook would have inferior engagement rates. In reality the opposite is the case. Just take John Lewis’ latest Christmas ad for example. Love or loathe its soppiness, there’s no escaping its popularity. And whilst it may have had more views on YouTube, the Facebook version of the ad gathered far greater engagement rates in its first 24 hours (5.66% of viewers liked, clicked though, commented or shared, in comparison to just 1.14% on YouTube). What’s more, Monty The Penguin is just one of multiple cases that followed this trend.


Regardless of whether you’re an video marketer or an organic YouTube star (Zuckerberg is now rumoured to be poaching the latter), you will have abided by the same process: upload content to YouTube and then promote it via Facebook. But this model now appears to be outdated, as AdParlour report that it’s much more effective to promote Facebook’s native videos through the social network site (than it is to promote YouTube videos through it). The conclusive results found that Facebook videos had a:

– 2.5x higher click through rate (CTR)
– 30% higher video play rate
– 10% lower cost per engagement
– 3.5x lower cost per click (CPC)
– 5.5x lower cost per video play

Fully aware of this shift, video marketers and YouTubers alike seem to be flocking in their droves to upload content to Facebook. In fact, video marketers uploaded 50% more content to Facebook from May through July 2014, and by the end of the year branded video content is set to be more prominent on Facebook than it is on Youtube.

Proof once again, that what Facebook wants, Facebook gets!