Facebook Inc is getting into the video business, and the firm is hitting out at Google Inc, the current biggest player in the market. Among the many changes that Facebook has brought to its product in recent weeks is a little warning about using Youtube to share video on its social network.
When you paste a link to a Youtube video on Facebook, a small warning appears. It states, “Consider uploading your video directly to Facebook. People are more likely to view videos and you’ll be able to track your success in Page Insights.” The feature won’t help Facebook beat the biggest issue with video on its platform, but it might add slightly to usage.
Facebook gets explicit
Facebook says that 4 billion video views are recorded on its platform every day. That’s approaching the size of Youtube, but the firm is way behind on some key tech. Stolen videos make up a huge number of the site’s content, and that makes putting ads on them less than straightforward.
The problem with the message that now appears if you try to share a video is that it actually encourages stealing from Youtube. While a user can freely share a link to another Youtube user’s content, telling them that uploading through Facebook would be better might cause them to copy the video.
Facebook has tried to move toward making money from the video content that it now hosts, but the content-copying problems are making it hard. Google has ContentID a system that is supposed to recognize when a video has been copied from somewhere else and remove ads from it. Facebook does not have a system like that just yet.
That makes the firm’s ad-revenue sharing with content creators a difficult problem to come to terms with. Of the 4 billion Facebook video views every day, many are videos that the uploader does not own, and has no right to payment for.
Facebook copies and creates
Facebook will have to put its own ContentID system in place in order to beat the problems it faces in copied content. For now the firm seems content with raising user awareness of its video system and getting users to actually use it.
The anti-Youtube message is not intended to instruct users to copy videos they might want to share form Youtube, though that is the net effect it has. Facebook just wants to remind every single user that Facebook video exists, and it’s a better fit for its platform.
That will help Facebook to grow video by user metrics, which is what the firm cares about most to start with. As with Instagram, Messenger and the rest, the firm can worry about putting as many ads as possible into the videos it makes after people are using it and love it.
For now the firm may be telling users to reupload Youtube videos they want to share, but when it’s ready it’ll start removing the ones that are copied directly from another user.