Facebook Goes After YouTube With Improved Video Features and Analytics

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Facebook videos get 3 billion views every day, but up until now there wasn’t an easy way to embed videos on other platforms. YouTube says they have “billions of views” per day, but don’t specify an exact number. YouTube hit 4 billion views a day in 2012. In other words, Facebook is catching up.

Facebook video had downsides. You could embed the Facebook post that contained the video, like Ari did in this article, but you couldn’t embed the video by itself.

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All that has changed.

Facebook announced numerous new features at their F8 developer conference. One of the big changes is the ability to embed videos. See below:


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The Facebook Video API also has new features.

Features include scheduling post times, video availability by region, larger video capacity, and improved analytics.

The downside? There’s no way to monetize videos yet.

Facebook is also expanding Messenger into an entire platform. This isn’t entirely surprising since the messaging feature was moved to a dedicated app. Facebook also recently added a payment feature to Messenger.

The new platform will make it easier to integrate and share content from other apps on Facebook Messenger. The platform will also support GIFs and sound clips.

The company also plans to launch Business on Messenger, a service that would allow customers to have direct interaction with companies.


Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more: @nine_u

23 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    “The downside? There’s no way to monetize videos yet”

    Which makes it useless to artists/labels. But there is another downside: Censorship.

    YouTube is certainly bad enough, but Facebook and Instagram are just plain silly.

    • Sarah

      I imagine they’ll get into monetizing through ads reasonably quickly – after all, FB is an ad business just like Google.

      However, I don’t think there’s any real benefit to artists or labels here. Perhaps in terms of FB competing with YT (although that’d likely have an adverse price on the ad revenue per stream, but maybe that means that FB and YT will have to compete by actually treating artists better and/or giving better revenue splits).

    • Nina Ulloa

      using that logic we can also say twitter is useless, mailing lists are useless, magazine features are useless!!

      • Sarah

        Usefulness can only be measured in terms of achieving a particular objective.

        From the perspective of offering artists another option for actually earning money, the new FB features are almost literally “useless.”

        If the goal is to simply give artists more tools and information, etc, it might be quite useful indeed.

        I think that his point may have been that yet more features/information that aren’t able to directly generate income are generally useless to the industry at this point in time.

        If you can’t actually bring in an income from your work, you can’t succeed as a professional artist – no amount of information or nifty embedding fixes that.

        • Anonymous

          “I think that his point may have been that yet more features/information that aren’t able to directly generate income are generally useless to the industry”

          Yup, that’s what he meant. 🙂

        • Anonymous

          If you can’t actually bring in an income from your work, you can’t succeed as a professional artist – no amount of information or nifty embedding fixes that.

          Hi Sarah,

          I believe that to be a totally flawed assertion…

          Look at it this way for me for a second and see what your brain comes up with. I get bothered and teased a lot for not being a famous millionaire yet, and constantly told that since i’m not balling out like others that i should quit and leave and do something else. But here’s the thing, lets take some universal artist, they get an advance to sign away certain rights, that then makes them a superstar professional top of the heap pro artist, yet they may only ever lose money for who owns them. Universal may pay them an advance, then pay for other things, and then never ever recuperate that money, then at the end of the year Universal ends up losing money, lots of it, but because they are owned by a huge company with billions of cash on hand, it gets written off, in hopes that eventually again it might actually make some money… Lets assume its some other company, that other company might eventually just go belly up and close the doors, all the while their artists were just propped up and fronted money, and that apparently in our society and in the music industry, makes them better artists and better people and more worthy and more professional then anyone else, and for those of us that choose to run our own ships, we are losers and amateurs and this and that, and they are superstar professionals better then us, and we are told about it all the time, and its such flawed annoying thinking…

          Just because some artist sells drugs to back themselves and pay people off to make them some star, certainly does not mean they are more of a professional artist then me or you or whoever, we have to stop looking at balance sheets and income statements and tax returns to see who the best artists are, and we have to stop looking at massive conglomerate corporations and their heavy handed marketing and promotion as the only successful artists and professionals out there…

          So why does all that make them a professional artist then and myself not? If you look at it, my business, while not making millions in profits, isnt losing any money, that essentially in black and white makes me a better company and artist does it not?? Im sure if Vivendi wanted to slide me billions to toss around i could make myself look pretty fucking awesome too!!! Im not losing millions and millions of dollars to front people money to make music, i just do it and recuperate what i can, and for some reason because im the boss, im the captain of the ship, because i cover all the costs, suddenly im not a professional artist???… Its backwards and lame to have to deal with all this crap all the time…

          Professional artists can lose money and be professional, professional artists can make no money and be professionals, and tons of these millionaire artists are actually anything but artists…

          Businesses lose money all the time non stop, heck you see entrepeneurs funding things themselves, already with millions in sales, and still needing handouts and funding and help, the losses happening out there that front people careers, all while precariously close to going bankrupt, does not give anyone the right to then placate those people as the superstar deity only professionals around and then using that to shove in our faces and make us out to be losers and amateurs, im sick and tired of it…

          If i had vivendi behind me youd see my name on the charts too, heck, ive been on the charts already, thing is i didnt see a penny from it and furthermore my name wasnt in the credits anywhere, because they are thieves, and thats just the way it is…

          so what is what then???

      • Anonymous

        I certainly didn’t mean that Facebook is useless for artists and labels, on the contrary. But its video features are.

  2. Anonymous

    Periscope seems far more interesting.

    Like Facebook’s video service, it’s not for artists yet. But what if you could monetize your own combined Twitter and live TV channel?

    • Anonymous

      I just posted a link to a Wired story on Periscope, but it’ll probably take some time to show up.

      Here’s an exerpt:

      “The mechanics of Periscope are really simple: tap a button, and start streaming whatever your camera lens sees. Anyone who follows you gets a notification to tune in (you can also host a private broadcast for a few selected people), and they can watch in the app or any web browser. Some streamers are silent, others prefer to narrate the action. Some streams are selfies, which makes onlookers feel like they’re in a Baby Bjorn attached to the broadcaster’s chest, watching them talk down into the camera.

      If that sounds a lot like Meerkat, that’s because it is, with a few key differences. Meerkat becomes useless as soon as a broadcast ends; there are no profiles, no timeline, no nothing outside of what’s live at this moment. Periscope is a much more complete experience. It’s better-looking, for one, with a super-clean interface, the Facebook to Meerkat’s flashing-neon MySpace.”

      And not only that. It’s Twitter.

      • Anonymous

        Also this, absolutely friggin’ brilliant:

        “As you’re watching someone stream, you can leave comments, which the Broadcaster (in Periscope parlance) can see and respond to”

        Very much like the Japanese video site Niconico. Why oh why can’t you do that on YouTube? People want to participate.

        • Anonymous

          Also, Periscope’s latency’s only two seconds while it’s ten on Meerkat.

          This is real time.

          • Anonymous

            Here’s what a former adviser to President Obama said about Meerkat and Periscope:

            “[They] could do to television what blogs did to newspapers by removing many of the financial and structural advantages of legacy media institutions.”

            Television AND radio, you might add…

        • Sarah

          Is this the real Anonymous? 🙂
          In any case, you sound pretty excited about Periscope – I’m glad there’s something out there you’re optimistic about!

          Why oh why can’t you do that on YouTube? People want to participate.

          Probably because YT doesn’t need to offer it – they are big enough that they could probably get away with not innovating or improving for at least a few more years before they become vulnerable enough that they have to start seriously responding to what the market wants.

          As for participation, I think you’re totally right – it goes back to the experience thing. It’s a really cool concept, in my opinion, and a big factor in the future of music:

          – people want to participate.
          – this implies that people value, to some extent, the experience over merely the content alone.
          – you can (in general) steal content.
          – you can NOT (in general) steal experiences, especially when those experiences are interactive

          There’s a path to serious revenue somewhere in there….

          • Anonymous

            “Is this the real Anonymous?”

            🙂 Totally real — AND optimistic! Didn’t you see any of my 5000 VIDescape comments? 🙁

            “It’s a really cool concept, in my opinion, and a big factor in the future of music

            That’s a huge idea, makes me dizzy.

            “There’s a path to serious revenue somewhere in there….”

            That’s what I thought. Every crowd…

          • Anonymous

            …don’t like the name, though. Meerkat is lovely. But Huffington already managed to misspell Periscope. And what does it even mean? You’re not sitting in a submarine. The metaphors are wrong.

            [Just having a discussion with myself, ignore.]

          • Sarah


            I’ve mentioned before that your comments influenced what we’re doing. I hate ads as a consumer, I think they necessarily undervalue music, blah blah blah. But talking to you, specifically, helped me realize that my anti-ad preference was just that: my personal preference.

            If you want ads to generate your income, and your fans want ad-supported content, who cares what I want? Of course, market realities will dictate how much you make from the ads, but that’s up to the market. As I’ve said before: I want you to make money. If ads are how you choose to try to do that, I still want you to have the best tools available for maximizing your revenue. So, I can’t tell you how just yet, but you’re going to get your potential YouTube alternative in RepX.

            p.s. Meerkat is indeed an adorable name.

          • Anonymous

            Nobody likes adds, as such. But they give you freedom because they’re the key to virality, and I really don’t think virality can be overrated. It’s the soul of the internet and the essence of success. Plus, it’s extremely satisfying from an artistic pov.

            And who knows, perhaps adds will turn into fine art one day. TV series used to be crap, but look at them now…

            “As I’ve said before: I want you to make money.”

            And again, it goes both ways. Artists don’t hate Google and Pandora because of the money. It’s the constant abuse, the secrecy, the lies.

          • Sarah

            With you on Google/Pandora. Our name RepX is actually short for Reputation Exchange, which was inspired by the (apparently outdated) idea that the best way to succeed in business longterm is to earn (and deserve) a great reputation for both producing excellent products and treating your customers and partners well.

            As for ads, all the points you mention are why we decided it was so important to incorporate them sooner rather than later. The discovery/marketing aspect is critical to music – it just needs to be carefully managed so it doesn’t destroy the income potential.

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