YouTube have long been the video giants of the digital world. With over 300 hours of video uploaded to the site every minute and many users generating vast incomes from their YouTube channels alone, the site boasts an incredible success story since its inception just over a decade ago.
But the question on everyone's lips in 2015 is, will this last? Since Facebook started taking their video efforts seriously last year - including News Feed embedding and increased monetization efforts - they've had some very promising results, giving YouTube a run for their money, quite literally. Perhaps even YouTube can see the strides Facebook could make in the video-sharing world, and are arguably already making.
To make an informed assessment, we evaluated the two in order to weigh up their pros and cons, ultimately looking for which platform is best for businesses to invest their time and money in to reach their consumers effectively.
Google owned YouTube has recently eliminated the obligatory Google+ link. Previously, this meant that in order for users to comment on YouTube videos, they had to sign up and/or link it to their Google+ account. This was limiting for users and it's axing maked the site a much more easily accessible and shareable platform for users and video advertisers.
Everyday, people watch hundreds of millions of hours of videos on YouTube, and people are more likely to see a video through on YouTube than any other video-sharing platform - once you've got your audience, they're hooked.
While over 85% of YouTube adverts are skippable, companies only pay when people watch their adverts, meaning it's pretty much a win-win situation.
On the other hand, it's taken YouTube the ten years of their existence to reach four billion views per day. Facebook share that figure for their video views too, but it's only taken them a year to do so. Imagine what another year will bring?
A natively uploaded video to Facebook reaches on average three times as many people than a YouTube video, even surpassing embedded YouTube video views on Facebook.
Some have argued that Facebook's view counter offers dubious statistics, since they work on a three-second view rate, including scrolling past a video in your News Feed (which may well take three seconds or more if something else nearby catches your eye). Facebook have defended their system, stating that it works well and that there's no industry standard for view counting. However, it is something worth bearing in mind as a company utilizing Facebook video for digital growth.
With Facebook, videos are embedded into user's News Feeds, meaning no linking out or loading time, something that often puts users off a video before they've even seen it.
Facebook is social, so sharing videos on its platform creates better opportunities for users to share, comment and tag friends in videos, inevitably driving up views and generating higher return on your videos.
And the Winner is...
Overall it's hard to say which platform beats the other outright. It largely depends on whom you're trying to reach, for how long and why. If you can make a video that's irresistibly engaging within the first three seconds, Facebook video is for you. If you like to play it safe, preferring to focus on your already-established consumers' attention, YouTube still works just fine. But with Facebook constantly stepping up their game and realizing the future of a video-dominated content landscape, things could easily change. And soon.