Live video streaming is all the rage these days, with both regular users and influencers using it to have their voice heard. Businesses aren’t standing on the sidelines either because they are aware of all the benefits live video content can provide. First of all, video is cheaper than ever to produce. Second, live video is great for engaging your followers, increasing awareness about your business and brand, and ultimately, generating leads and driving more customers your way. Video content can also make complicated subject matter more easily digestible.
If you are serious about live video streaming, Facebook and YouTube are the most obvious platforms and let’s be honest, the best choices out there. Both are massive. YouTube is not only the world’s largest video platform but the second largest search engine. And of course, I don’t have to tell you that Facebook is the most prominent social media platform of them all. Although YouTube started streaming live video in 2011, and Facebook didn’t add the feature until five years later, they seem to be evenly matched.
In this blog, we’ll compare Facebook and YouTube features to help you decide which platform is better for your business.
1. User Experience and Features
YouTube has video monetization with their YouTube Partner Program. Facebook has ad breaks currently in beta testing for select users. However, most people don’t like it when they are aggressively pitched to, so this should be used sparingly. If you are looking spread awareness about your brand, Facebook content has the potential to go viral.
Live video on Facebook collects most of its views on the day the video is streamed, while YouTube views are typically gathered over a more extended period of time. In fact, Facebook treats live video as any other kind of content, with the newest being placed at the top of the newsfeed, and the oldest being mostly forgotten. YouTube content is archived and can be accessed for a long time after that.
2. Quality of Service and Videos
Facebook limits the resolution of its live video streams to 720p, as well as to 30fps. YouTube allows video to be streamed at resolutions up to 4K and 60fps. These days, internet connections are fast enough to support this type of stream, and you would be hard-pressed to come across a newer camera or phone which doesn’t capture video in 1080p. The quality of video comes into play with repeated viewings and YouTube knows this.
However, most Facebook users watch live video streams on mobile devices where 720p resolution is more than satisfactory. Facebook also does a better job of notifying its users about live streams with push notifications. While YouTube will inform the user and pretty much leave it at that, Facebook will send you a notification an hour before, 20 minutes before, and one minute before the stream goes live. It also notifies users who are actively using the app that a live stream is currently happening.
Facebook Live has over 1.9 billion active users per month while YouTube Live has over 1.3 billion of active users. Because of Facebook’s shorter lifespan, YouTube is better for content that is more evergreen such as product reviews, influencer conversations, instructional videos on how to use your product, and the like.
Facebook allows you to capitalize on content that has the potential to benefit from viral reach such as timely news pieces, product announcements, and relationship building content. It also allows you to nurture a more personal connection with your followers and provide a better user experience. Facebook Live map is another excellent feature because it shows a map of all active live video streams across the globe. Apart from location, it also displays the popularity of the video. The more popular the video, the larger it appears on the map.
Since Facebook is primarily a social network, it allows you to interact with video in pretty much the same way as you would with any other content: by leaving comments and sharing statuses. On top of that, Facebook also has verified Pages which allows businesses and influencers to build their brands more efficiently. YouTube is trying to do more of the same with its Community and Super Chat features. Both of these exist to enable users to interact and engage as they would on social media. As Facebook’s algorithm is continually changing, it can be a challenge for brands to navigate, similar to Google’s YouTube.
Choosing what platform is right for your video needs is ultimately dependent on the kind of business you run. Now that you know more about each one, you will be able to make a more informed choice. Do you use Facebook or YouTube for video content? Which platform is better suited for your business? Tell me about what you’re doing in the comments!
The post Facebook vs. YouTube: Which is Better for Live Video? appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.