The Video Advertising Arms Race: Facebook vs. YouTube

You’ve seen it all over the headlines: Facebook video views are catching up to YouTube. In the last year alone, Facebook had 1.4 billion monthly active users compared to YouTube’s 1.3 billion. Although the difference is minor, the recent growth rate for Facebook video has risen dramatically; the reach Facebook has seen in native video views within the year is astounding. Facebook’s video platform launched just over a year ago, whereas YouTube launched a decade ago. Ampere found that 15% of Internet users across North America and Western Europe had watched a video on Facebook in the last month, and a sixth of those people had not watched a video on YouTube in that same time span. It seems the king of online video has finally met its match. YouTube is no longer the only major video platform.

It’s predicted that by the end of 2015, Facebook will have 2 trillion video views. That’s two-thirds as many as YouTube. And what’s more, Ampere determined that Facebook is more profitable than YouTube. Marketing Land wrote the following:

“Facebook’s challenge to YouTube is showing strength. Based on similar totals of monthly active users on the two networks, Ampere found that advertisers value Facebook inventory at a higher rate, $0.73 per MAU for Facebook vs. $0.28 for YouTube. That’s despite the fact that Facebook charges advertisers for views as short as three seconds in its autoplay environment while YouTube only charges when people view a view for about 30 seconds.”

Why is Facebook the preferred video advertising method? Even though Facebook charges advertisers after such a short view time, Facebook is ideal for content marketers before the launch of a product for creating brand awareness. That’s because Facebook videos are getting more likes and shares on the social network site compared to YouTube videos. Nonetheless, YouTube is still more advertiser friendly since the ads can be shown anytime during a video view. YouTube also has the feature TrueView, which allows users to skip an ad after only five seconds. It’s shown to be extremely effective, as advertisers don’t pay for a video if it’s skipped.

Even though Facebook lacks in some areas of video advertising, the company is looking ahead to the next market trend: mobile advertising. The Cisco index predicated that nearly three-fourths of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2019. Mobile advertising is an enormous market that many advertisers have yet to tap in to. Facebook debuted its vision for mobile ads at Cannes Lions on Tuesday, June 23. It’s an intriguing idea and one that is a smart move for the company. Re/code wrote the following about Facebook’s mobile potential:

“Facebook’s future is mobile — it already has more than half a billion people whose only interaction with Facebook each month comes from a mobile device — and it’s giving marketers a hand in designing the very ad units the company will be selling them in a few months. Not a bad move… Of course, Facebook will also be tasked with walking the line between advertiser wants and user happiness. Users are rarely fond of advertising — although with Facebook the issue tends to be targeting more than anything — and it’ll be up to Facebook to ensure whatever ads they create strike the right balance.”

Despite Facebook’s video success, the company still has a long way to go when it comes to video advertising. Facebook does not offer pre-roll ads. Pre-roll ads are the commercials that appear prior to an online video.  If Facebook wants to remain competitive with YouTube the company will eventually have to incorporate these ads, which would allow for a more advertiser friendly format.

So just how fast has Facebook video grown within the past year? Business Insider UK compiled data about the state of social video from Socialbakers and found that brands have virtually stopped posting YouTube videos on Facebook. Beforehand Facebook native video launched just over a year ago, brands did publish their YouTube videos on Facebook. Last year, YouTube was the dominant video platform on Facebook. As you can see, that’s no longer the case.

While YouTube may not be the king it once was, it’s still the leading platform for online video. Although a Google exec said YouTube isn’t worried about Facebook’s native video expansion, the company must realize the threat Facebook poses. Still, YouTube is the second largest search engine thanks to Google, a feat not to be dismissed. But while YouTube is still in a strong position overall, Facebook and other video platforms are giving YouTube a run for its money. So what is the future of video advertising? Only time will tell.

Whether you choose to advertise on Facebook or YouTube, Viddyad is here to help. Create a video ad online in minutes. #EasyFastAffordable

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Facebook’s Q1 Earnings Report

While Facebook’s revenue amounted to less than expected ($3.54 billion rather than the $3.56 billion in revenue expected by analysts), its mobile video ads proved to be a massive success. Mobile ads have increased the company’s revenue and its share price this quarter.

Video ads gained a lot of attention in the quarterly report, with it being revealed that a whopping 4 billion videos are watched on the platform every day.

Sheryl Sandberg, facebook chief operating officer spoke about the benefits of video ads for SMBs at the conference.

“I think all marketers have the opportunity to do video and that’s pretty exciting, including SMBs (small & medium businesses) who would never be able to hire a film crew and buy a TV ad. We’re seeing those put video in. Over 1 million SMBs have posted videos and done really small ad buys around them. And that’s pretty cool because I don’t think there are probably 1 million advertisers who have bought TV ads in that same period of time.”

The popularity and accessibility of Facebook’s video ads means that businesses and advertisers who can’t afford professional TV advertisements, can obtain massive reach by creating a simpler video ad and posting it to Facebook. If you want to try out creating a free video ad for yourself, check out Viddyad. Let us know what you think too. We’d love your feedback.

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Twitter Tests Auto Play Video Ads

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Facebook introduced it in 2013, and now Twitter also wants to reap the benefits of auto-play by testing it on some of its videos. Initially Twitter is testing this limitedly; those in the US with iPhones and iPads will begin to see some videos play automatically on their newsfeeds. Similar to Facebook, the video will play without sound until the user decides to press ‘play’, introducing sound and a larger screen.

Twitter wants to determine whether people are more likely to actively click play and decide to watch a video, or if they would pay more attention to a video that they see playing automatically as they scroll through their feed.

The company’s testing doesn’t apply to all types of videos uploaded to Twitter. Videos from the 6-second video app created by Twitter and Vine videos will not be trialed for autoplay. The testing will however apply to promoted videos from the site’s Amplify program that is used by companies to distribute their videos to audiences outside of their following on Twitter.

When it comes to counting views, Facebook considers a video viewed after it has played for 3 seconds. So far Twitter counts a video as viewed once the play button is clicked. If a video ad is eye-catching, a viewer is more likely to have their attention grabbed and to continue watching a video once they see it playing. But of course you knew that right?

Try it out for yourself. Create a free video ad at viddyad.com today and post to Twitter.

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Facebook’s video ads go from strength to strength

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When Facebook announced its 2014 end of year results, they showed off a huge increase in revenues, and monthly active users. The annual achievements from Facebook far outshone those of other social media giants, including Twitter.

Following such growth, people are naturally eager to know how Facebook plans to maintain this high level of growth for this year.

The answer is likely to lie in video ads. The long awaited video ads have finally been launched by the company, and are now being shared with the mass of Facebook users. The potential expected from this area is expected to bring Facebook more astonishing results next year.

The video spots, which will be in demand for advertisers, will ensure a lot of revenue for the company. During the video testing phase, facebook was in a position to be very careful in their decisions on which partners would be involved in the testing of the videos. Each of the marketing partners was charged a cool $1 million a day to participate- a price they were all willing to pay due to the proven success of video ads. Their success is further enhanced on Facebook as they have the ability to utilize vast amounts of user data to maximize of their benefits.

It is estimated that Facebook’s revenues will rise by 6% in 2015 largely due to the proportion of the estimated $600 billion spent by marketers to get in on the company’s video ad action. This proportion continues to grow to keep up with the number of users online that continues to grow. Unlike other ad platforms, digital and video ads can be targeted towards particular groups and it is possible to measure the results of these ads.

In a survey conducted earlier this year, 63% of marketers said that they already have or are planning on purchasing video ad space on Facebook in the next 6 months. The percentage that did not will likely have their minds changed with the figures presented on video ads in 2015.

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Facebook’s New Video Announcements

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Last month, Facebook’s annual developer conference, F8 took place, and there was a lot of video related talk!

One of the prime topics – the introduction of embedded videos. Facebook is going to introduce a video player that will allow embedding onto other sites.  This is simply a way to put your public posts on Facebook into the content of your web site or web page.

What’s better is just how simple it is. You merely copy and paste the appropriate code and add it to your blog, website, or wherever you might wish to share it.

This is one in a series of video related advancements that Facebook has made recently. Also announced at the F8 conference, was the introduction of spherical videos.

Mark Zuckerberg spoke at the event about virtual reality, and how gaming is often the first thing to come to mind when people think about it. Zuckerberg however, emphasized the continued importance of video, and said that he believes that video is going to be even more engaging when it comes to virtual reality.

Using your computer’s mouse, you can pan around the video, which gets its 3D by being filmed by multiple cameras, allowing the user to feel immersed, as if they are really there. This is a new video experience for the 1.3 billion people that according to Facebook, view over 3 billion videos each day on the social network.