How Facebook Is About to Get More Like YouTube
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And, to further up its cascading video engagement cred, the social media mammoth today announced that it's rolling out a set of new YouTube-like features this week -- view counts for videos from public figures and Pages, and related video suggestions that will appear after videos are watched.
For the average user, the addition of public video view totals might not sound like anything to write home about, but it’s welcome news for metrics-happy, ROI-obsessed brands and marketers. The tallies will enable them to quickly size up how well a video is performing, along with what’s hot and what’s not content-wise. The fresh features are also geared to help Facebook users more easily discover emerging and popular video content.
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In teasing the new duo of basic but useful YouTube copycat features -- expected to debut after today -- Facebook crowed that its video views have grown more than 50 percent from May through July, pumped up in part due to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge soaking everyone’s news feeds, according to TechCrunch. Facebook also said that more than 65 percent of its video views pour in via mobile, a platform the social powerhouse is increasingly more focused on.
Facebook also announced today that it will allow video publishers to add a “call-to-action” tool that will invite viewers to visit a specific website or to “learn more or make a purchase” after a video is done playing. Page creators will also be privy to a more robust set of metrics designed to help them better reach their target audiences, including analytics on how long viewers watch videos before clicking away from them and how many unique views each video earns.
Sure, Facebook’s averaging some 1 billion-plus videos view per day isn’t bad. The boom represents some relatively strong growth overall, but it’s not exactly astounding when compared to YouTube. Not yet at least. Google's massive video platform boasted some 4 billion daily video views back in 2012. It’s unclear how many more views YouTube racks up each day today, but we do know more than 1 billion unique users descend upon the Internet’s third most popular website each month.
Will Facebook, now 1.3 billion monthly active users strong, build up enough video muscle to lure a significant number of eyeballs (and advertisers) away from YouTube? We’ll have to wait and see.