on March 30, 2015 Media Industry News

Facebook Video Seeks to Replace YouTube and Conquer Google Once and For All

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In the world of OTT, YouTube currently sits atop the throne, but heavy is the head that wears the crown. Facebook video is an aspiring usurper showing promise. Their relatively new platform gets over three billion video views per day, and that number continues to increase. All of our news, all of our sports highlights, all of our hilarious lip-sync-while-driving videos, are found on Facebook. No need to click play, just scroll your mouse over the video, and it plays automatically--brilliant. Facebook’s video player will soon be embeddable, and they’ll be able to host content all over the web. But this is only the beginning. Facebook is revolutionizing their apps to give us access to more information and more entertainment. The two titans of the Internet are battling for our loyalty.  

According to Business Insider "Google should be worried.” Facebook’s new-and-improved API lets publishers post and remove content quickly and efficiently, upload even larger videos, control who can view videos geographically, queue videos without over-posting, and track video interactions. To embed videos, copy the video embed code from any Facebook video and paste that HTML into your own site, and it will appear beautifully, with ease. These innovations have led Facebook page owners to upload more videos to Facebook than Youtube. In the 2013 Super Bowl, Facebook accounted for 1% of online video ads, while Youtube hit nearly 94%. In 2014, Facebook was up to 25%, and Youtube was down to 74%. Facebook wants to insure that every time you visit the site, you see a video.

If you’re not visiting Facebook, you may soon be using their apps. Facebook Messenger is now allowing developers to integrate their own programs within the app itself. Messenger has about 600 million users that are gaining access to a wide array of new features. ESPN, the Weather Channel, and a payment feature where you can send money to friends are already integrated with Messenger. “Until now, we have focused on improving Messenger by building all of these features ourselves,” Zuckerberg told reporters. “We’re really excited about what you all are able to do with these fast and simple tools we are rolling out.” According to Medium.com, Messenger may even become so effective that it kills Email. Heads up Google Mail. With Messenger and video, is it clear that Facebook wants to take over the world of communication. Is it possible? 

The only obstacle Facebook video has left to tackle is how to let users make money from posting videos. They are not yet willing to share the wealth. YouTube allows its publishers to earn compensation depending on content popularity, which in turn has created professional “YouTubers.” Can Facebook get to the point where their video platform is creating jobs? With that said, YouTube isn’t the ideal business. Their revenue topped $4 billion last year, and they only broke even! Facebook has a huge opportunity to build a mutually beneficial monetization program for content creators. Which their team is highly capable of doing, it’s just a matter of time.

Larry Page and Google have no response. They haven’t even commented. Google+ was a failure, and they have nothing—that we know of—in the pipeline that compares to Facebook’s continuously updated feed, that allows for easy brand advertising and real-time news. But despite the fact that Facebook is taking a huge chunk of Google’s online business, Google is still the “it” company. They have enough money to work on robot/car/drone technology on a daily basis, that will reshape the way we live in years to come. Facebook is only gaining share on the Internet, in applications, in the intangible. Although Facebook is clawing at Google, Google is such a powerful corporation, they probably don’t even feel it. Maybe that’s why they haven’t said anything.

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Nick Shanman

Intern at large. Movie buff.