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Facebook was never beating YouTube on video after all

Author's avatar By Robert Allen 13 Feb, 2017
Essential Essential topic

Chart of the Day: Facebook's new corrected video view figures show it was never ahead of YouTube on video

Back in 2014, we saw loads of headlines saying 'Facebook is now beating YouTube in video views'. Then came the string of correcting articles pointing out that Facebook was only winning because it counts 3 seconds of viewing as a view, whilst YouTube counts 30 seconds as a view. So clearly it was like comparing apples and oranges, but Facebook still had more apples than YouTube had oranges.

Or so we thought. In late 2016 the news broke that thanks to a bug in its video view tracking code, Facebook had been accidentally overstating the length of video views on its platform by 80%.

Now new viewing data from Nielsen has shown that since Facebook fixed the error causing it to wrongly inflate viewing counts, the true viewing figures for Facebook's video views are far below that of YouTube. In fact, they're less than half. So it's clear that Facebook has never really been a serious challenge to YouTube's crown as the king of online video.

Author's avatar

By Robert Allen

I was the Editor of Smart Insights between 2015-2017. I managed the blog and you will find blog articles on a range of subjects- Marketing Technology trends and latest tech developments are a regular focus, as well as exploring key marketing concepts. You can get in touch with me on Twitter and connect with me on LinkedIn. The new Editor is Carolanne Mangles.

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