Facebook vs YouTube: The video battle heats up

New research has found that Facebook video uploads surpassed the number of shared YouTube videos for the first time ever in November.

The data, which was compiled by social media-tracking firm Socialbakers, suggests that Facebook is beginning to make a major dent in YouTube’s audience share.

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Socialbaker’s analysis of 20,000 Facebook pages of brands, media companies, entertainment companies, and celebrities, found that the percentage of videos posted to the social network that were shared from YouTube has been falling since May in favour of direct uploads.

There have been a number of suggestions as to why page owners are making the transition, with the most prominent being that marketers have identified greater value in publishing a video directly to social networks.

This is boosted by the fact that Facebook videos play automatically within the News Feed, drawing users to content. While this may also mean that YouTube users are more interested in the video, as they have actively searched for that content, Socialbakers CEO Jan Rezab says that isn’t necessarily the case.

In an interview with Business Insider, Rezab said that Facebook was a “more natural” platform to share and engage with videos than YouTube, because of the social experience of discussing content with friends.

Socialbaker’s findings are not entirely surprisingly as Facebook has made a deliberate push into the video content sector recently. Alongside the autoplay feature announced late last year, it has also launched video adverts on Instagram and rumours suggest it is trying to tempt some of YouTube’s biggest stars to publish directly on the social network.

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However, YouTube still dwarfs Facebook in terms of the amount of video uploaded and viewed every day, with an estimated 300 hours of video being uploaded every minute. Despite its dominance, the Google-owned platform will be well aware of the threat posed by Facebook, which is proving itself a major player in the video content market.