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It is only during the last couple of years that Facebook has gotten serious about its own video streaming. Thus, many people wonder if they should give it a chance or stay with the tried and true YouTube. The answer depends upon what you need in terms of video streaming. But there is no doubt that Facebook video is worth a look.
The Web’s Video Age
The web started as a largely text-based system with some limited use of images. But the first video stream on the web occurred all the way back in 1993. That was just a proof-of-concept, but by the late 1990s, there were competing streaming video applications with RealPlayer, ActiveMovie, and QuickTime. Then in 2005 came YouTube and Me at the zoo. Since then, streaming video has become only more and more critical to the web ecosystem.
According to a report by Sandvine in December 2015, over 70 percent of evening network traffic was due to audio and video streaming. The report indicated that 37 percent was due to Netflix, 18 percent from YouTube, and 3 percent from Amazon. We are living through the video age of the web.
Changes for Content Providers
There are two ways this change has affected content providers:
- More content than ever is being delivered as video
- More advertising is being done on video.
When most people think of online video, they think of YouTube. But quite recently, Facebook has become one of its many alternatives (like DailyMotion). But with the extreme reach of Facebook, it offers advantages that other alternatives do not. For example, for many businesses, Facebook pages are more popular than their dedicated webpages and blogs. So streaming video from Facebook is logical.
Thus we find many people asking whether Facebook video is worth looking into or whether it is just another “also ran.” There is no concrete answer to the first part of this question, but we do know that there is nothing “also ran” about anything Facebook-related these days.
If you just want to upload a video onto the network so that you can distribute it directly or embed it on your own website, there isn’t that much difference between Facebook and YouTube. More or less, they are both easy-to-use, drag-and-drop, interfaces.
What’s more, embedding them is almost identical. Both embed within an iframe and provide an easy interface to copy and paste the code from either service to your own website.
There are some technical differences between YouTube and Facebook.
File Types Supported
File Size Limit
On the other hand, Facebook has a limit of two hours for uploaded videos compared to much longer times for YouTube. The limit on YouTube is a file size of 128 GB — which should come out to roughly 600 minutes or 10 hours.
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