Facebook is launching its own Youtube-like playlists

Published by Engagement Labs on January 15, 2015

For the past year, Facebook’s video growth has surged. In December 2013, it launched the autoplay video functionality within the newsfeed. In September 2014, it added a play count to video views like Google’s YouTube. Now, Facebook is introducing its own version of video channels and playlists on pages. The platform will now allow Pages to include a video tab allowing extra-large display format and live comment feeds. As a result, brands will be able to select videos they want to highlight and create themed playlists.

For now, only few pages such as The New York Times or ABC News have access to this feature, but it will soon be made available to all. Facebook aims to use this feature to encourage brands and companies to upload their videos directly on its platform, rather than sharing Youtube video links.


Impressive progress

According to Facebook’s press release, the number of video posts per person has increased by 75%. In the US, more than half of all daily Facebook users watch at least one video per day. Facebook also reports that 65% of its global video views come from mobile devices. eMarketer’s latest report shows that Facebook reached a number of 93.8 million unique viewers, just after Youtube which reached 162.3 million. eMarketer also analyzed a June 2014 survey from Frank N. Magid Associates according to which a third of all U.S. digital video viewers use Facebook, which leaves them still behind YouTube (used by 75% of digital video viewers), but ahead of video services like Netflix (28%) and Hulu (14%). “Social properties provide a different viewing experience than YouTube or a TV network’s streaming player. A key differentiating element is the ease with which users can share and comment,” eMarketer’s report says.

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Using our social media analytics tool eValue Analytics, we can see that ABC News’ videos got almost as many shares as post featuring links and photos over the last two weeks, and the largest amount of comments and likes by post type. In the same period, BBC News’ Facebook page (which still doesn’t have their video channel tab implemented yet, also have the greatest amount of shares, likes and comments on their video posts. Video is one of the most engaging formats and Facebook’s video channels and playlists will likely surely work to strengthen fan engagement.

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Acquisition of video startup QuickFire Networks

Last week, Facebook announced the purchase of QuickFire Networks, a video transcoding service company which aims at quickly encoding videos to post on the Web without compromising their quality. This acquisition matches Facebook’s goal of becoming a native video platform and allowing users to upload videos more effectively by shrinking upload times.

Twitter develops its own new video product

Like Facebook, Twitter strives for high level impact and will therefore allow users to record, edit and post video directly through Twitter mobile app. This new feature will be similar to Vine but will go further, allowing video clips to last up to 20 seconds, according to inside sources. Twitter’s new video product might also include an autoplay functionality allowing to display the video’s first six seconds, as well as a pay for views option like Youtube.

The rules of digital video are about to change. Is Facebook, according to you, Youtube’s biggest rival? Let us know in the comment section below!