Facebook Video vs. YouTube: What you need to know.

When it comes to online video, Facebook and YouTube have a rivalry that matches the intensity of Mariah Carey vs. whichever new pop singer is being compared to her at the moment. While YouTube has the distinction of being, you know, the top platform for online video, Facebook has the community and built-in audience for some huge growth in online video that allows it to compete with the top platform for online video. It’s like the two popular kids running for class president, but one of them is the president’s kid and the other one is just super popular. And also they keep sabotaging each other, even though no one asked them to sabotage each other.

Meanwhile, Snapchat vs. Instagram.

This intense rivalry between Facebook and YouTube has skewed a lot of things for online content creators looking to promote and/or create on the platforms. For example…

Views on Facebook are different than views on YouTube. 

The pictures are of the same video I posted to both YouTube and Facebook. On YouTube, the video got 69 views while on Facebook, it received a little over 230 views. That is a significant enough increase to make any creator pack up their YouTube channel and move exclusively to Facebook.

But wait!  Those Facebook views aren’t real. On YouTube, a view is counted when someone actually clicks on the video and watches it for at least one second. If it’s an accidental click, it still counts as a view. For Facebook, since their videos autoplay on timelines, those views only count how many times that video appeared on a Facebook timeline. The person doesn’t even have to turn the sound on, be an active member of my community, or pay more than 3 seconds to the video before scrolling up. In fact, on Facebook, you can pay to ensure more people have your video on their timeline through ads and hence give your video more “views” despite the fact maybe only one of those hundred views was a legitimate, “I wanna watch this video” view.

At least YouTube gives you a feature to show how much of the video your viewers watch.

Don’t do clickbait, kids.

You can’t promote YouTube videos on Facebook.

I mean you can…but it’s pretty fruitless unless your Facebook followers have you on “See First” notifications. This is an infamous result of the YouTube/Facebook feud. Pretty much Facebook has their algorithm rigged so that anything with that precious YouTube link will get seen as little as possible or not at all. I’ve personally seen “not at all” more often than not. Meanwhile, because Facebook loves their videos so much, a Facebook video post will get seen more than a regular text post.

So easy recap for you: Facebook video post > Facebook photo post > Facebook Text Post > Literally anything else > Facebook post with YouTube link.

The only way I’ve been able to get around this little trick is to put my YouTube link in the comments of my post and have a call to action at the end of my post to have my audience click the link in the comments. This trick literally only works because Facebook can’t set up an algorithm for comments…yet.

Also YouTube doesn’t have an auto-publish feature for Facebook, which is annoying but at least my followers there see my videos most of the time.

But at least they can agree on captions. 


The great thing though is that despite their great and never-ending rivalry, YouTube and Facebook’s algorithms both help out a creator that puts captions on their videos. In fact on YouTube, creators will see a 3% increase in views for videos with captions. For Facebook, people will actually see your video and you won’t have to pay a dime.

I just really dislike Facebook’s requirement to pay for people to see your content.

Even though both sites do it for self-serving purposes, I like to think they’re doing it to become more accessible to the hard of hearing and I am very much in favor of this algorithm promotion. I’m also in favor of anything that lets my Facebook audience actually see what I post to Facebook.

Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 7.11.13 PM.png
I spent 40 hours working on my senior project and Facebook only let 9 people see it. 😡

Check out my YouTube channel and my Facebook page to compare the two yourself. Am I doing one wrong over the other? Let me know on my Twitter because both YouTube and Facebook are terrible at quick-communication. 



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