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Facebook vs YouTube: Video Platform Wars

There’s been a lot of talk recently about Facebook and YouTube fighting it out to be the top video platform… (including a very interesting piece by Hank Green)

We thought we’d join in with an infographic we put together with data from one of our recent multiplatform campaigns.


*Engaged views is a metric we coined - Facebook videos play automatically as you scroll down the newsfeed, meaning a user only has to watch for 3 seconds to register a view, whereas on YouTube a user has to keep watching for at least 30 seconds...There is some contention on the topic with the IAB saying only two consecutive seconds count (read more about that here). 

We also have James McConachie who very deftly puts into words the many (sometimes subtle) differences between YouTube and Facebook (read his original article here)

Take it away James!

Whether you've been calling it a video, a viral or a film, the only issue that really matters now is - where do you place it?

YouTube or Facebook?

Which platform will bring you the most views? And how many of these views will actually be from the demographic you're targeting? Here's how the platforms match up.

Attracting Viewers:

Facebook content is more discoverable, and its algorithms automatically reward a video's popularity by prioritizing it in its newsfeed.

Viewing Times:

Facebook video viewings peak quickly, then drop off. YouTubers engage for longer periods of time. Facebookers often have a snacking mindset, so your video needs to get quickly to the point. YouTubers have come to the platform to watch videos. So they're more likely to view yours to the end. YouTube mobile users now average 40 minutes per session 

Passing It On:

Facebookers have a more engaging, sharing mindset. YouTubers are more likely to view it for themselves and not share. Ratings On YouTube, someone has to watch for 30 seconds before it's counted as a view. On Facebook, it qualifies after just 3 seconds, and that timer automatically starts when users scroll down the newsfeed.

Adding Value:

YouTube's numbers are all viewed impressions. Facebook views include a high percentage of served impressions (the equivalent of cold calls). Facebook lets you re-target viewers, and due to knowing how long they've watched, you can deliver customized messaging.

So now you know. It's time to choose. Or why not just choose both?

If you want to see how we can help your brand do social video right on YouTube AND Facebook, come meet us for a coffee in Covent Garden...