Facebook is eating YouTube’s lunch when it comes to video views and sharing

Facebook has increasingly been making moves to position itself as the preferred platform for uploading videos. This morning I saw evidence that, in fact, Facebook really is eating YouTube’s lunch when it comes to viewing and sharing videos.

The Case

We’re in the middle of a federal election in Canada. My friend, Ian Capstick, uploaded a humourous video to both Youtube and Facebook on August 28. If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look at the YouTube embed.

The Evidence

Ian uploaded the video to both platforms on Friday, August 28. It’s now Monday, August 31 and here are the stats for the first three days since the video was uploaded:




  • 60 likes; 5 dislikes

Same video. Very different views and social gestures. Facebook is generating 300% more views than YouTube, 300% more likes, and 500% more comments.

Clearly, something big has shifted in the past year. Facebook’s new video platform is making it king of video just as it became the top platform for pictures a few years ago.

What you should do about it

This is just one case. And it doesn’t mean that YouTube is in trouble. But it provides clear evidence that YouTube no longer has the video field to itself.

If you are not uploading your videos to both YouTube and Facebook, you are missing a substantial part of your traffic. So, starting now, upload your videos to both YouTube and Facebook. The times are changing – and so is our sense of where we will find and share video.

  • Chris Clarke

    Hi Joe,

    Facebook and Youtube have very different opinions on what constitutes a “view”. I suppose comments are comments, but is a “Like” on Facebook the same as a “Like” on Youtube? I didn’t actually know there were Likes on Youtube!

    It’s clear that Facebook is catching up, though, they’ve made big investment on video recently.

    • Hi Chris, You are right that each platform measures things differently. (The “thumbs up/thumbs down” symbols under YouTube videos actually do carry “Like/Dislike” prompts when you hover your mouse over them.) However, I think that the huge gap between the views and social gestures on Facebook and those on YouTube are something that we wouldn’t have seen a year ago. I do think that, regardless of the exact measurement methodology, the direction is clear. Facebook’s emphasis on video is working. And the implication for us is that we should post to both during this period of change.

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