People love to debate this topic so let’s uncover some truth behind posting YouTube links on Facebook. If you’re posting a YouTube link on Facebook, it’s really only for one reason―you want more views on YouTube. There are plenty of places to accumulate those views, unfortunately Facebook is not one of them.
Pay attention, everything listed below feeds into each other. To fully understand everything, read through it but if you just want the cliff notes, scroll to the bottom.
The Early Days of Facebook:
In the early days of Facebook, back when you needed a college email to sign on, the platform was not really much more than text and pictures. As the network grew, so did its capabilities and recently video was integrated into our newsfeeds.
Facebook vs. Google:
Some of you may remember a brief period where Instagram pictures would be saved to Twitter when also shared on their Twitter’s network. Then one day, only the Instagram-shared photos disappeared from our Twitter accounts. Why did they disappear? It would seem to be a retaliatory reaction from Twitter when learning of Facebook’s billion dollar acquisition of Instagram.
Why is this important? All of these networks are in competition with one another. Google and Facebook are in a constant battle and helping the enemy succeed is one thing Sun Tzu would have strongly advised against. YouTube is owned by Google, Google is their biggest competitor, Facebook is definitely not in the business of helping Google.
Understanding How the Facebook Newsfeed Works:
Facebook has worked hard to ensure our newsfeeds are filled with the content we want to see. This is done using Facebook’s algorithm (EdgeRank) to decide which stories should appear within each user’s newsfeed. The algorithm is set up to hide boring stories, spam, and unnecessary annoying content.
Facebook’s Video Feature is a Product:
Everything contained within Facebook’s ecosystem is a product. The social giant is constantly releasing new products for its users and it is because of these products, we continue to use the site daily. Video is a product of Facebook’s and the whole idea behind this product is to keep users engaged on its platform.
Links are Different:
If a YouTube link is posted to Facebook, you may notice right away that the YouTube link does not show the same as an article link.
Regular Link Example: (on Facebook)
YouTube Link Example: (on Facebook)
As you can clearly notice, the presentation of the YouTube link on Facebook is not the most attractive―and that is very much on purpose. This is a way for Facebook to use its own algorithm to automatically deter the spread of the content.
It’s not about your selfish wants for YouTube clicks, it’s about creating a great user experience for those who like your page and those who will potentially like your page. Let’s take a look at how the user experience varies between posting a YouTube video vs. a video directly to Facebook:
The Process to Watch a YouTube Link from Facebook:
First you click the YouTube Link >
After a brief second, Facebook will load the YouTube video in its in-app browser >
Next you must click on the play button on the YouTube video >
After another brief second to load, the video player will open >
9 times out of 10, you will then have to watch a YouTube advertisement >
Once clicked through or watched, now your YouTube video is ready to be viewed
The Process to Watch a Facebook Video on Facebook:
Stop scrolling your newsfeed and watch the video that is already playing >
If you want sound, click the video
Why It Makes No Sense To Post YouTube Links on Facebook: (Cliff Notes)
It does not make sense to post YouTube links on Facebook because Facebook purposely restricts the spread of those links. In the early days, Facebook was nothing more than text and pictures. The overwhelming success of YouTube proved that video is king and Facebook came late to the game with the integration of video into our newsfeeds. YouTube is owned by Google, Facebook is in competition with Google, Facebook does not generate revenue by taking people off their platform and sending them to the competition. Facebook developed their highly intelligent algorithm to show its users the best possible content within their newsfeed. The unattractive presentation of a YouTube link on Facebook is purposely constructed as a way for Facebook’s own algorithm to deter the spread of the YouTube link as a way to encourage Facebook users to post videos directly to its platform. And when a video is posted directly to Facebook, the users (typically viewing from a mobile device) do not have to click links, open other apps, load videos, watch ads, etc.
In conclusion, if you have a video to share, upload it directly to Facebook as well as YouTube. By trying to hoard all of the analytical views into one place, you’re just hurting your own success with the spread of your content. So, until Facebook acquires Google or Alphabet acquires Facebook, it’s better to leave your YouTube links off of Facebook.
If you want to increase the hits on your YouTube videos, you literally have the entire rest of the internet to use to promote those links, try starting there.