It’s no secret that Facebook is trying to dip its hands into YouTube’s revenue by becoming a worthy alternative when it comes to videos. Over the last two years, the social network has been constantly releasing new features designed to attract more users into watching videos directly on the platform instead of going to YouTube.
Along with the new features, Facebook’s improved News Feed algorithms have also appealed to advertisers, celebrities and media outlets by rewarding them for posting directly on its site. And this cocktail of strategies seems to be paying off, if we’re to believe Facebook’s data.
Ever since 2013, the number of videos posted by an individual user has skyrocketed to 94 percent in the United States and 75 percent on a worldwide level. The greatest increase, however, was recorded by the number of paid and non-paid videos that shows up in your News Feed – rising to 360 percent!
According to comScore’s data, YouTube still occupies no-1 in terms of video sites in the US, but Facebook is following closely on second place, closing the gap with each year that passes. There are several changes and updates that have made Facebook more similar to YouTube.
One of the greatest successes recorded was the auto-play tool, which turned the user’s News Feed in a livelier environment. This feature launched in the second half of 2013 is only available for videos uploaded straight on Facebook.
Some found the auto-play tool annoying, but most agreed that it was even more annoying to have to click play every time you wanted to watch the video again. Views have also increased, exceeding the milestone of 4 billion times a day in only 6 months of 2015.
Another trick that has helped Facebook move closer to YouTube is showing how many times a video was viewed. When you see a video was viewed 10 million times, you are more compelled to stop scrolling and watch it as well. This strategy has worked well for YouTube and many social video platforms have also adopted it.
At the same time, Facebook’s News Feed algorithm is trained to feed your habits – especially if you watch a lot of videos on its platform. It’s a known fact that Facebook can track your viewing practices, like how long you watch a video, or how often you expand the video player.
Apart from these successful new features, Facebook has one ace up its sleeve giving it an immense advantage over YouTube: the ability to share videos poses a true threat to YouTube’s monopoly. Facebook also has the advantage of being perceived as a social network, something YouTube still struggles with; most users see it as a giant video search engine.
Image Source: iProspect