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Facebook Video Not The Real Deal Yet But Could Still Unseat YouTube

Report by Mark Mulligan
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The 20,000 Foot View

Facebook is emerging as a serious challenger to YouTube and is building clear momentum that is giving the incumbent cause for concern in a way that few other short form challengers have yet managed to do. The total number of videos viewedby Facebook users was XXX billion a day in April 2015, up from XXX billion only three months earlier.  Big brand advertisers are also warming to Facebook video with Heineken going as far as to suggest that Facebook is just as important as YouTube for them as a video platform.  But Facebook’s video metrics are not quite the runaway success they might at first appear.  Facebook does indeed have momentum, a momentum that will become self-perpetuating, but its scale of actual user engagement is much smaller than the headline statistics suggest.  A Facebook video view is a very different thing from a YouTube view, with the former diluted markedly by inactive, passive views of silent videos on Facebook news feeds.

Key Findings

  • Facebook video is growing fast, with XXX billion daily video views in May 2015 and XXX user penetration compared to XXX for YouTube
  • However, most Facebook video views are passive views resulting from autoplay
  • Just XXX of consumers regularly un-mute Facebook videos in their newsfeed, rising to XXX of Facebook video users
  • Four fifths of Facebook’s XXX million global video audience also watches videos on YouTube
  • The unique global Facebook video audience is just XXX million 
  • Thus, being on YouTube only gives content owners and marketers access to the majority of the online video audience while Facebook does not
  • Despite all this though, Facebook could be poised to be a major challenger to YouTube because its video strategy is well suited to Digital Natives
  • Facebook video could emerge as the new home of short form video and user generated content, with the personal context of Facebook video a key factor

Companies mentioned in this report: YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Buzz Feed, AOL, MSN, Yahoo

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