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Is Facebook Favoring Native Videos over Embeds?

by Rolando Herrera
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Discerning people might’ve noticed the increasing number of native videos on Facebook. There’s also a marked decline in the number of YouTube videos and other third-party video embeds. Most of this content that lands organically in Facebook feeds are native video uploads. Speculation is rife whether Facebook is starting to favor these embeds.

This change comes on the heels of Facebook’s announcement that the company decisively intended to limit third-party images on its network. That, along with Facebook’s current uncertain relationship with Google, brings YouTube’s future on the social network into question. Is this a decisive step against Google or just promotion of native video as opposed to all third party embeds?

The Study

Recently, Search Engine Journal conducted a study to see if the speculations were correct and if Facebook was clearly favoring native video. They experimented by uploading seven videos for each page that they were targeting, which amounted to twenty-one uploads. They made sure that they would get results that weren’t influenced by outside factors by taking several precautions. The study lasted for two weeks but the results delivered showed a decisive winner.

Native or YouTube?

According to the study, native videos had been liked 814 times, shared 168 times, commented on by 104 viewers and reached a total of 181,760 people. YouTube videos, on the other hand, were liked 342 times, shared 63 times, commented on by 14 viewers and reached a total of 88,950 people.

This is an unexpectedly clear result. There’s a difference of 472 likes, 105 shares, 90 comments and 92,810 people.

In all, it’s obvious that Facebook was favoring native video to third-party embeds, especially YouTube embeds. The study concluded decisively that native videos reach twice as many people. Because of that, they get twice as many likes, three times the shares and seven times the comments.

Two Approaches to Marketing

This data becomes invaluable for an online marketer. They’ll have to take two different approaches to marketing their video content. Since native videos have a broader reach on Facebook, it is advisable to market that way on Facebook. However, most marketers actually intend to draw the attention of the viewers to their YouTube channel, which would contain more videos. The best strategy would be to invest a little content on all platforms, allowing a marketer to get maximum reach.

For now, it’s unclear whether this partiality is intentional or not. Perhaps native videos simply perform better on Facebook compared to embeds. It is best to err on the side of caution and go the native video way.

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