New statistics released by Facebook demonstrate the rapid growth of video sharing on the social network — and underscore the company’s ambitions to be a serious rival to YouTube in the video space.
In a blog post, Facebook has revealed that the number of videos posted to the platform per person in the U.S. has increased by 94% over the last year, and that 50% of Americans who use Facebook on a daily basis also watch at least 1 video on the platform every day. Overall, users are seeing nearly four times more video in their news feeds than a year ago, according to Facebook’s stats, which we first saw over on Venture Beat.
It’s the latest in a long line of figures that show just how serious Facebook is getting, and the real risk it poses to YouTube’s dominance of online video. For starters, more than 1 billion videos are watched on the social network every day — and it’s been that way since June 2014.
And in November 2014, the number of videos uploaded directly to Facebook overtook YouTube videos on the network for the first time. It’s an impressive stat, considering that until recently the social network wasn’t even considered a destination for video.
But it’s the product of a concerted push by Facebook to encourage content creators to upload videos to the platform natively. The addition of view counts on videos is one example of Facebook producing more tools for video creators, and introducing auto play on videos has also helped make the network more friendly for videos.
The Facebook algorithm that determines what appears in news feeds also favours content hosted natively — meaning it’s in the interests of people looking for exposure to upload their content to Facebook directly.
The social network’s blog post on the recent statistic appeals directly to content creators, providing guidelines on producing videos “your audience will want to watch and share,” and urging users to “post raw videos that are compelling, shareable, clips that no one else will have.”
And yesterday’s acqui-hire of video compression company QuickFire is further evidence of Facebook’s determination to invest in the technology.
Facebook’s acquisition of video ad platform LiveRail in July 2014 has had experts speculating that video adverts and accompanying revenue splits with content creators are just around the corner. There’s a catch, in that the social network has yet to introduce Content ID software to monitor for copyright infringement — meaning that some content creators despair at the level of infringement on the platform. But as Facebook grows more and more serious about video, it can’t be far away.
For now, YouTube remains the king of online video. But Facebook is the de facto front page of the Internet for hundreds of millions, and it’s leveraging that hard to make inroads onto YouTube’s turf — to great success.
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