Let’s say you made a video. After several hours of filming, editing, creating, and perfecting your content, you’re ready to share it with the world. The question now is where should you post this cinematic masterpiece: Facebook or YouTube?
If you’re trying to choose between uploading to YouTube or Facebook, here are some key differences between them: YouTube has a broader audience range, pays content creators more, and has greater staying power; Facebook has a higher conversion rate and is more strict about licensing.
This article will discuss the differences between Facebook and YouTube to help you decide which is the better platform for you to share your videos.
Sharing Videos on YouTube vs. Facebook
The rise in popularity of influencers on social media, along with the massive sums of money platforms award to their most influential content creators, have drawn many people to try their hand at it. Whether you’re recording product reviews or airing esoteric short films, knowing what each platform has to offer will help you on your path to viral stardom.
A little more than 75% of surveyed people engage with video content on a weekly basis, and over 50% daily, according to the Pew Research Center.
The sheer volume of viewers, a.k.a. potential customers, makes video sharing platforms irresistible for marketing and advertising executives.
The increased monetization of social media and video sharing platforms like Facebook and YouTube also presents an opportunity for independent artists and creators to monetize, promote, and spread the reach of their products, channel, or brand.
The power of social media to generate revenue has been well studied, and most people that engage with video content are aware of the power those platforms hold.
If you’re trying to start a content-creating career (tongue twister), the question is which platform to use. It’s important to know how to quantify success in the world of social media.
YouTube Has a Broader Audience Range
A platform’s audience range, in the context of video content, means the number of people that your content has the possibility of reaching.
Although Facebook recently surpassed YouTube in the number of active members, YouTube still boasts the highest percentage of video users.
The Pew Research Center has noted that 72% of adults engage with YouTube videos, while Facebook follows in a close second at 68%.
YouTube Pays More
Both Facebook and YouTube have paid their more popularly-rated content creators. According to data collected by Shopify, Facebook pays roughly $8.75 for every 1,000 views that a video elicits. YouTube pays roughly $0.18 per view on a video.
YouTubers are paid for ad views on their videos as well as regular video views. With ads and videos together, YouTubers can make as much as $18 per thousand views, a full ten dollars more than Facebook.
However, if viewers skip the ads, the amount a YouTuber makes drops to $3-$5 per 1,000 views.
Video to Sale Conversion Rate
Any online seller knows that it’s difficult to get viewers off a social media platform and onto a sale page. Shopify’s data notes that the standard video-to-sale conversion rate for any platform is roughly 1.16%.
Facebook has a higher than average conversion rate, roughly 1.85%. YouTube is perfectly average at 1.16.
Other social media platforms, such as Twitter, Pinterest, and Reddit convert at much a lower rate than either Facebook or YouTube, ranging from 0.96%-0.47% and down.
Facebook Sends More Viewers to Purchase Pages
Although YouTube itself pays its content creators more, Facebook is majorly responsible for leading viewers to the storefront purchase pages.
Facebook accounts for roughly 63%, or 23.3 million store site visits, towering over the 8% of conversions provided by YouTube.
Staying power is a fancy term for a platform’s ability to keep the viewer engaged with the video content for an extended period.
YouTube has much more staying power than Facebook. The effective view time of YouTube videos, according to data from Hootsuite, averages just below three minutes.
Facebook videos, on the other hand, are less likely to retain viewers much beyond 30 seconds.
There is some question as to the real value that staying power provides in terms of monetizing and promoting brands or products.
The success of short-video platforms such as TikTok and Facebook Reels seems to suggest that viewers are less willing to engage with video content longer than 30-40 seconds.
Viewing Session Time
YouTube also claims that the average viewing session is about 40 minutes, much longer than that of Facebook.
This would suggest that YouTube viewers are more inclined to watch more videos, and therefore more ads, at a time than on Facebook or other competing video platforms.
Facebook is notoriously strict about licensing violations. This can mean that videos using unlicensed songs in the background may be flagged or removed from the platform.
While this kind of enforcement from Facebook’s moderators helps artists and musicians get paid for their work, it also creates an obstacle for some content creators.
According to Facebook’s new Music Guidelines, content creators may not “use videos on [Facebook’s] products to create a music listening experience.”
The new policy also may restrict the ability to share videos in some countries; however, which countries are not specified in the Guidelines. Unauthorized content may be removed from the Facebook platform, including unlicensed music played during Live streaming.
YouTube also has policies in place for proper music licensing. However, YouTube has been historically more lax about enforcing those policies than Facebook.
Both Facebook and YouTube have pros and cons. While Facebook is more effective at drawing viewers to purchase pages off the platform, YouTube pays its creators better and has more staying power.
Still, as the cultural preference for video length and style continues trending towards shorter videos, the diverse commercial features of Facebook may prove more effective for monetization.
If you’re just getting started with your product, channel, or brand, it’s a good idea to spread yourself across platforms as much as possible. This way, you increase your content’s chance of going viral and your chance of earning a profit.
My Current Video Editing Setup and Favorite Products
Apple MacBook Air M1 512gb Ram (Waiting for the new 16in Pro)
LG 27MK400H-B Full HD Monitor with FreeSync 27″ (I literally have 4 of these 😅 )
Razer Holiday Bundle Cynosa Chroma Gaming Keyboard, Abyssus Gaming Mouse, Goliathus Chroma Mousepad
KTRIO Large Gaming Mouse Pad with Stitched Edges
Panasonic LUMIX G7 Digital Camera – Great Entry Camera for Shooting and Streaming
Neewer Ring Light Kit — A Must Have
Emart Green Screen Backdrop with Stand Kit – Affordable and Lots of Uses!
Elgato Stream Deck Mini – I only need the 6 keys