Video views on the network have tripled since September.
Facebook’s video surge is looking more like a tidal wave.
In remarks during Facebook’s quarterly earnings call with investors today, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook video is generating more than 3 billion views a day. That’s up from 1 billion daily views Facebook reported in September, a total that at the time prompted many to wonder if Facebook is becoming a challenger to YouTube.
Today’s news — a tripling of views in three months — won’t diminish that talk. Of course, YouTube is still the video king. It no longer reports daily views — the most recent number I could find was 4 billion in January 2012. That number has no doubt grown since then. Currently, YouTube says more than 6 billion hours are watched monthly, which by my math is about 12 billion minutes a day.
But knocking YouTube off its perch is not likely Facebook’s goal anyway. Zuckerberg said Facebook’s emphasis on video is a sign of the times. Five years ago, he said, most posts on Facebook were text with some photos. Now it’s mostly photos with some video and text.
“Over the next five years, we want to continue developing features so people can share how they want,” Zuckerberg said.
Another motive for the video push — aided by Facebook’s soundless autoplay feature and video favoring News Feed algorithm adjustment last year — is to smooth the path for video advertisers. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said having more consumer video in the News Feed helps ads that include video feel more natural.
“If there wasn’t consumer video on Facebook video ads in your News Feed would be jarring,” she said. “As a percentage of the video you are seeing, video ads fit nicely into your experience.”