Facebook Video v/s YouTube - Our take! Your choice?

Saloni Surti
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Facebook v/s YouTube

In lieu of the fourth YouTube Fanfest in Mumbai, India, Social Samosa takes a look at which video platform is the best for you. It is Facebook Video v/s YouTube.

The last two years have been quite busy for YouTube, who earlier this year announced that its 1+ billion users worldwide are watching 1 billion hours of video daily. In India, too, YouTube has witnessed staggering growth, reaching to over 180 million users per month on mobile alone.

YouTube witnessed a massive growth in watch time, with mobile contributing to 80% of YouTube’s total watch time in India. That mobile watch time is growing at 400% year on year. YouTube credits this success to the more than 300 million smartphone users in the country, who have created a demand for content creators.

Sharp rise in content creators

YouTube claims 2016 to have been the year of fastest growth of creators’ subscriber base, with now over ten creators across the country with more than 1 million subscribers. In the last one year, 14 independent creators achieved the 100 million subscriber milestone.


David Powell, Director of Online Partnerships and Development, YouTube, APAC, said, with more people coming online especially in tier 2 cities, YouTube is seeing more hunger for content across all genres.

“In 2016, we saw over 500 creators across India get over 100k subscribers, meaning at least one channel is crossing this threshold every day,” Powell explained. “This meteoric rise of content creators across the country is at the heart of YouTube’s popularity in India, and we are significantly ramping up our efforts to make India one of the most vibrant and successful content creator communities in Asia.”

YouTube is slated to host the fourth edition of its iconic Fanfest in Mumbai with veteran creators including Abish Mathew, AIB, Being Indian’s Sahil Khattar, Bhuvan Bam, Carryminati, Caspar Lee, Darshan Raval, Girliyapa, Kenny Sebastian, Kurt Hugo Schneider, and many more.

Facebook Videos v/s YouTube

In late 2013, videos on Facebook started gaining momentum. In November 2014, Mark Zuckerberg went on record to say “In five years, most of will be video.” Soon came 360 degree videos followed by Live.

This definitely worked in favour of content creators who need to be omnipresent. For YouTube, however, rose a competitor with an ambition similar to theirs.

The core difference between Facebook Videos and YouTube in terms of measurement is their views algorithm. Facebook counts a view within 3 seconds of watching the video while YouTube record one view only after 30 seconds. YouTube has been measuring videos in terms of hours watched. According to the recent Video Metrics, videos can be measured in Video Views, Unique Video Views, Average Duration of Video Viewed, Audience Retention Graph, Video Views to 25%, 50%, 75%, 95% and 100%, and Clicks to Play Video.

In terms of audience, like mentioned earlier, 1+ billion users worldwide are watching 1 billion hours of video daily on YouTube. According to a report by MediaKix, total monthly potential Facebook Video Viewing Audience is 1.71 Billion. In 2015 Facebook hit 8 billion video views daily. Facebook was expected to eclipse 16 billion video views in May 2016.

Facebook Videos v/s YouTube Sameer Pitalwalla, CEO, Culture Machine

“I think the common metric that holds true for both is watch-time. Facebook has deeper engagement metrics around sharing and emotions than YouTube does, but YouTube has a very core focus on Watch-time as a key indicator in how it aids in discovery,” explained Sameer Pitalwalla, CEO, Culture Machine which owns channels such as Being Indian, Blush, and Awesome Sauce.

Another integral difference between Facebook Videos and YouTube is the audience intent. Users surf Facebook with the intention of socialising while, YouTube invokes appointment viewing.

Facebook Videos v/s YouTube Tanmay Bhat, AIB


“I think YouTube has its own ecosystem, the numbers are consistent. Viewers come on YouTube every night with the aim of watching videos, unlike Facebook which is a personal space where people come to share their lives and videos are going on simultaneously,” shared Tanmay Bhat of All India Bakchod (AIB).

Facebook Videos and YouTube now form a two-way street, with more often than not one performing better than the other depending on the nature of the content.


“While we receive better results on both platforms, YouTube viewers are more loyal. On Facebook, the video is buried between other content so the watch time is much higher on YouTube,” Bhat added.

Pitalwalla too echoed the same thoughts. For Blush, initially YouTube performed well and later the success mirrored on Facebook.

“Depends on the genre. I do believe that any great brand should be multi-platform, it just depends on which one you start with and choose to focus on to achieve scale. For us, in the case of Being Indian, it started on YouTube and then scaled to Facebook. In the case of Awesome Sauce, it started on Facebook and is now moving to YouTube,” Pitalwalla said.

For now, YouTube is banking big on creators.  “We will ramp up our efforts in creator community events across the country with a big focus on the south of India, and will continue to put the spotlight on creators as with our recent #SeeSomethingNew campaign,” concluded Powell.

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