This week there has been a lot of buzz about Facebook video plays. Since incorporating their video auto-play feature earlier this year, the number of video plays has increased by 50%. They are claiming a billion video views per day, with two thirds of those being on mobile devices.
While that’s nothing to sneeze at, there are a couple of points to consider.
Those numbers include the videos that auto play as you scroll past them. One billion plays does not equal one billion watches. While Facebook’s auto play feature can grab eyeballs that might otherwise skip over the video, there’s also evidence it can have the opposite effect – people will simply ignore them the same way they do with ads. Personally I scroll past dozens of FB videos a day that start auto-playing, but I don’t watch the majority of them. Yet they still count in that 1.3 billion views a day figure.
I’m sure Google is watching Facebook’s video presence with interest, but YouTube isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Keep in mind that YouTube still dwarfs everyone else in terms of daily views – they surpassed 4 billion views a day a couple of years ago. I couldn’t find more recent statistics, but they are still the 500 pound gorilla when it comes to online video.
But the fight is heating up – should be interesting to watch.