We have known this for a loooong looooong time, that Facebook wants to get into video as a major force. In continuation with that aggression, Facebook is now going full throttle with its video platform, as it provides video creators with free ad credits for uploading video exclusively to its platform.
The battle cannot get more interesting than this. It is Facebook vs Google’s Youtube as the former is now attracting video creators, actors and top artists to upload their videos exclusively on Facebook for first 70-80 hours after which they can be uploaded to other channels such as Youtube and Vimeo.
And, in exchange of this exclusivity, Facebook is providing free ad credits to such content creators. This latest offering of video content puts Facebook directly in competition with Google’s Youtube which is currently reigning the video streaming market with more than half of total market share.
Facebook has already begun this service in the US and is now targeting its largest market outside the U.S.,u nu un India is their new target market given their huge user base here (reportedly in March 2015, Facebook had 125 million monthly active users and 53 million daily active users on mobile in India).
Also, Internet video traffic in India is expected to grow nine-fold between 2013 and 2018, reaching 2.2 Exabytes per month in 2018 or 72% of all Internet traffic in India, according to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index (VNI) and Cisco report.
The response to this new initiative by Facebook in India is quite encouraging. The musical prodigy of India, AR Rahman hosted an exclusive live chat on Facebook on his birthday which was uploaded later to his Youtube channel and recently Star Tv uploaded the preview of one of its biggest shows, Nach Baliye, on Facebook, two days before airing on TV.
The initiative is also well received by many multi-channel networks that promote their content through Youtube or Vimeo but have started using Facebook also. “Facebook has become very active with content creators lately but it might take a while for them to catch up to YouTube,” said Subrat Kar, co-founder & CEO of video analytics startup Vidooly, whose service is used by over 1,000 You-Tube channel owners.
Sameer Pitalwalla, cofounder of another multi-channel network, Cultural Machine, said,
Facebook is the only contender to YouTube in India in terms of reach and they are getting bigger and bigger.
Cultural machine has been publishing much of its content on Facebook with great results.
We have released some content exclusively on Facebook and the viewership has been heartening to see
Clearly Facebook Video has hit a right chord among Indian content creators, at least in the beginning phase. However, it remains to be seen whether it would be successful in entirely replacing Youtube as a go to destination for videos in future.