Facebook is Breathing Down YouTube’s Neck in the Online Video Space

Facebook vs Youtube

Facebook vs YoutubeAccording to a research done by Ampere analysis, Facebook is poised to become a serious threat to YouTube in the area of video content. The research company said “The social network’s video views are rocketing and recent trials with content owners suggest it’s primed to become a plausible alternative to YouTube” However, Ampere Analysis also highlighted although Facebook’s views were on the rise, it “hasn’t yet been able to compete with YouTube’s ability to deliver revenue returns to content creators through its huge engaged audiences across the globe.

From the infographic the research company released, several statistics were highlighted:

  1. Facebook has 1.4 billion monthly users while YouTube has 1.3 billion as of 2014
  2. The monthly average revenue generated per user is higher on Facebook ($0.73) than on YouTube (0.28)
  3. In Q3 2014, Facebook raked in 77 billion views while YouTube had 702 billion views. However in Q4 of the same year, Facebook recorded a 139% increase in the number of views to 184 billion while YouTube only recorded a modest 3.8% increase to 729 billion views. In Q1 of 2015, the YouTube recorded 756 billion views, up 3.7% percent but Facebook had another massive jump, up 71.2 % to 315 billion views. Facebook is catching up.

Facebook & YouTube have different methodologies in how they roll ads on their platforms: YouTube, as we know rolls mostly 5 second ads before the video rolls while on Facebook, video ads begin playing in the newsfeed and the company counts it as a view if it is watched for three seconds or more. Facebook also has a significant advantage on YouTube where all of their users are registered and since they have data on them, advertisers can tailor ads to them. Also, Facebook is actually on track to deliver two thirds of YouTube total views this year (YouTube’s accumulated views is estimated to be 3 billion for this year according to Ampere Analysis.

Also, Facebook has another trick up its sleeve, Business insider reported 75% of its ads are being played on mobile according to a statement by Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg. This is a bigger number than what YouTube declared where they said half of YouTube views are on mobile.

The obvious winners from this explosion of online video are Facebook where they’ll generate new revenue streams, content creators thanks to their increased opportunities to showcase their content and consumers by the variety of content between the two major online video players. On the losing side, YouTube is facing increased pressure from Facebook’s encroachment on their turf which may hurt earnings, consumers thanks to the ballooning ads on the platforms and the mainstream traditional broadcasters where potential and current audiences will be more inclined to watch video online instead via TV.

We have other popular online video platforms like Instagram video & Vines which focus on very short videos and likes of Vimeo which is a niche online video platform for film enthusiasts. Instagram is the one with the most potential here with its 300 million monthly users but for now Facebook and YouTube are tops in this space. The online video platform is dynamic, don’t get shocked if the tables turn.


  1. There is no doubt video will be the next frontier in online content. YouTube however still leads in the game and Facebook’s video strategy is slightly different from YouTube. Facebook videos that are effective are shot and punchy while YouTube’s videos are long form, with most people preferring to link them to blog posts. All in all, I say YouTube is still king, at least for now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQeXBGoygTs

  2. @davidgitonga:disqus I agree. But this arena is quite dynamic, unless YouTube solidifies its lead by changes its strategy to counteract Facebook’s surge.

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