Facebook vs YouTube: Pros and Cons of Publishing Videos on Each

August 5, 2016

You can publish your videos everywhere, but you can’t focus your time, effort and budget on every single video platform out there. We had put together an intro to the battle for your videos between Facebook and YouTube. And now, here’s the quick guide to the pros and cons of publishing on each of the two major video platforms in the social space.

Publishing videos on Facebook

Pros:

  • Users are always checking out the content on their feed
  • They’re more likely to engage with the content that mixed in with messages from friends and family
  • Facebook lets you target your video ads very specifically to the right audience based on age, gender, location and interests
  • The cost of getting your video to reach the audience on Facebook is three times cheaper than YouTube
  • The total watched time on Facebook is much higher than on YouTube – but that takes into consideration auto-plays. Check out the difference between Facebook and YouTube in calculating views
  • The Facebook crowd are always ready to consume videos, and will always trust videos recommendations by loved ones
  • Facebook really encourages engagement, and it is very likely for your audience to debate and discuss the content and message you’re communicating
  • 1.5 billion active users, beating its counterparts one billion

Cons:

  • Facebook videos lifespan is much shorter than YouTube’s. Videos are exposed to users for a day or so, before vanishing altogether
  • Once a video’s gone, there’s no way to get it back
  • From outside of Facebook, it is impossible to reach the videos via search, embeds or links. So it might be popular within the Facebook world, but it’s non-existent elsewhere

Publishing videos on YouTube

Pros:

  • YouTube is the homeland of videos where viewers head looking for specific content
  • Arguably effective in getting viewers to keep watching related content, one after another – especially good if you’re producing a series of videos that are similar enough to be recommend
  • With the ability to search for videos directly from Google, YouTube offers reliable SEO
  • With apps for the all smartphones, gaming consoles and smart TVs, YouTube is well integrated around the web, and easily accessible
  • On average – and this is a very broad average here – YouTube gives you better retention and a high duration of consumed content

Cons:

  • If you’re not already established from the golden era, it is almost impossible to create a strong enough following to guarantee a minimum number of views to make your videos worthwhile
  • Spending to get your video to reach your audience is extremely expensive, not targeted enough, and overall not very effective
  • Engagement is practically non-existent, especially when compared to Facebook
  • The overall growth rate seems ridiculed in comparison with Facebook – only time will tell if the latter plateau before surpassing Google’s video platform altogether

Where should you publish your videos?

The quick answer is both. The longer one depends on what you’re after. We’ll go into more details later, but the basic breakdown is as follows:

If you already have a community on YouTube, with loyal subscribers, then by all means, do not migrate to Facebook. Just keep a decent presence to reach new people, and keep sharing links to your YouTube channel so that you can slowly but surely gain more subscribers. This is especially ideal for small content creators with a decent following relying on YouTube’s (weak) revenue sharing model.

If you’re going to start from scratch, then it’s just way too expensive to kick off on YouTube (not that it’s cheap on Facebook, just a whole lot more affordable). In fact, you need Facebook’s engagement and space to communicate with your followers and, with a little bit of spending, reach exactly the people you want to target. Be sure to use Mintrics as your video analytics tool to understand exactly how your videos are performing, because looking at just views can be very deceiving.

The competition

It’s interesting, because before Facebook decided to close the tap on YouTube and trap the users within the social network but taking on video publishing head on, YouTube was never really contested. And now Google’s really feeling the threat. Facebook’s algorithm remains a black box to the one and half billion people surviving on it, but it’s estimated that native Facebook videos appear on people’s timelines nine times for every link from YouTube. In return, the world’s number one search engine does not recognize the existence of videos on Facebook (although they could argue that it’s Facebook that is refusing to make its videos publicly available – but that’s bullshit).

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