From business perspective, the answer is a definitive “yes”. Is the difference dominantly visible in users’ eyes? May not be so, or it may be too early to tell. Here are some interesting stats (from socialbakers.com), summarized for easy digestion for common readers:
- Youtube is still the dominant platform for sharing videos, and its growth in terms of sharing videos is expected to be up in coming years.
- Photos are still the dominant sharing option in Facebook, whereas videos constitute about 5% of Facebook contents.
- However, Facebook surpassed the engagement and sharing ratios for Facebook videos as compared to Youtube videos. Youtube videos draw less comments and engagement than Facebook.
- Here is the headline news: Many advertisers and brands have stopped sharing Youtube videos in Facebook, rather they are sharing videos directly in Facebook. By doing so, brands are drawing-in more fans than they could do so in Youtube. Really a bad news for future Youtube revenues.
- Brands are still having their own channels and videos in Youtube, but viewership is going to be affected. We need to wait and see what brands will do with two channels of video sharing options, whether Youtube will be used for more elaboration or demonstration purposes and Facebook for stunning promotion only? Really an upcoming PR challenge for brands.
- It is expected that general public will still be uploading non-commercial videos on Youtube, therefore, the relevance may not be lost in general. However, Facebook is a strong commercial contestant which would be a major source of Youtube’s headache.
Here are my two cents. Facebook’s video sharing is still at an experimental stage. The traditional positioning of Facebook being a social platform of interaction is a strong proposition as long as it is the dominant platform in its category. Sharing too much commercial videos apart from users’ own “status” videos might hurt its classic positioning, unless it is controlled by user-fed choice algorithm that goes on in the background of such social giants (make no mistake about it). On the other hand, occasional exposure of “controlled” videos is not annoying. For example, have you noticed the muted sound “by default” in Facebook videos? This is the kind of caution that must go behind every experimental stage of shifting focus of a successful brand. Soon, Facebook will know us better about our liking and disliking based on our huge database of video watching habits that they will collect at their data centers. So this is not our headache as users anymore, let Youtube have it this time!