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Three charts that show we’re missing the point of Facebook Video vs YouTube.

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I want to share three charts today that paint a really important picture of the online video distribution landscape.

And, as far as I can tell, illustrate a big misunderstanding from marketers about the war Facebook Video has declared on YouTube.

Here’s what I’m seeing.

Chart #1) Engagement by Type
There are two main ways to share a video on Facebook. You can share a link to a YouTube video or you can upload a video diretly to Facebook.

When you compare the engagement between these two methods over the last two years, this is what you see:


The result is the same thing we saw back in 2014: the algorithm is designed to either rewards direct uploads or penalize YouTube link shares. I think it’s the former, but either way the takeaway is still obvious: upload videos directly to Facebook.

Chart #2) Share Volume by Type
That takeaway has been known for a couple years now, so it’s little surprise that posting habits have changed drastically in favor of direct uploads.


In 2013 nearly 2/3 of all video shares on Facebook were YouTube links. So far in 2016 YouTube’s share is just 11%.

Chart #3) YouTube Upload Volume and Avg Views Over Time
Which leads me to my last chart.

Now, if resorts are sharing fewer YouTube videos on Facebook, we should see the average view count of videos drop. Which we do.


But if video creation is growing, what we shouldn’t see is such a decline in the number of videos uploaded to YouTube.

Instead, that’s exactly what we see.

Not Either/Or
What I think is being lost in the noise is that Facebook vs YouTube is NOT an either/or scenario.

It never was.

Both of these sites are distribution channels for a video message. The fact that Facebook favors direct uploads should have no bearing on a video being uploaded to YouTube as well.

But the inverse seems to be happening. Marketers seem to be distributing ONLY on Facebook and missing the benefits of also uploading to YouTube.

YouTube Benefits
And what are those perks?

First, search.
And I mean this both within YouTube but the ability for these videos to show up in Google results.

Facebook will never have the public searchability of YouTube.

Second, discovery.
Facebook will let your videos show up in random users’ feeds or beside other videos…if you pay. YouTube does this for free. Facebook will never have the discoverability of YouTube.

Facebook engagement is all but dried up in less than 48 hours. YouTube search and discovery lasts for years.

Third, subscribers.
Finally, resort YouTube accounts all have some number of subscribers. When you post something new, they get notified. If you don’t upload to YouTube, they may never know.

This is free distribution for your video, don’t forget about it.

To be fair, some videos uploaded to Facebook may not fit the format of YouTube.

But based on what I’ve seen, that number is small compared to the volume of videos that could be uploaded to YouTube after initially being shared on Facebook.

Facebook is great is giving videos quick, viral distribution and visibility. YouTube is awesome at giving it steady, long-term discoverability. That’s not an either/or scenario, that’s a powerful 1-2 combo.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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