YouTube vs Facebook video (and how there's no clear winner)

I find myself waking up one morning saying, "That's it, I have to move over completely to Facebook video." And then within the hour I'm thinking, but YouTube is just the perfect online video content management platform.

And here's my conclusion... for now...

Someone said to me laughing, "I mean... nobody actually opens YouTube on their phone to watch videos, they just go there from a link on Facebook." That's very right and very wrong. In South Africa, the Facebook to YouTube trend is prevalent. But the emerging trend is a stand-alone usage of the YouTube app on smartphones as free WiFi increases.

It's for that reason that to throw all your video eggs in one cyber-basket would be silly (much like this sentence).

1. YouTube has a very distinct audience

Watching Ellen re-runs, and all the other talk shows, along with the classic YouTube vloggers, music videos and cover songs are all HUGE (#trumpism) on YouTube and in many respects that will always be a big playing field. You'll be unwise not to post a video on YouTube in these niches.

2. Facebook has misleading stats

Your "trusty" social media expert will point out the views of your video on Facebook. However, these views include a person who scrolls over it long enough to start playing silently on their feed. Now, unless you have captions, that's a useless stat. On the other hand, this is a good reason to start adding captions to your Facebook videos.

3. In South Africa, YouTube is still emerging

YouTube is very much still on the upswing in South Africa, what with our lack of free WiFi hotspots, and the fact that this infrastructure is growing rapidly. So you're still, in South African terms, an early bird catching the worm if you had to start building your YouTube audience now, rather than later.

4. Facebook is King... for now

I seem to be saying "for now" a lot. But that's the deal in the online space. Facebook is King... for now. Who knows, SnapChat's on the rise, Twitter are rebooting and Instagram increased their video to 60 seconds. While Facebook is full of money and brains, there's always the chance that the market finds the simplicity and engaging new features of Twitter enticing and we end up with a video market split between Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram - or a variation of this.

Your take home point of data from this blog post is that Facebook is winning, but YouTube is still the best platform to consume online video. With YouTube featuring on smart TV's and WiFi growing in South Africa, I'd say ride the Facebook video wave but realise that the market will most likely settle on YouTube.