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Facebook On the Verge of Being a Top 10 Video Site

I was looking at some extended comScore stats for another article and saw something pretty striking: Facebook is very nearly a top 10 U.S. video site, according to comScore. It’s in slot No. 11, just behind Disney.

Facebook had 12.5 million unique video viewers in March 2009. What’s particularly notable about this high ranking is that Facebook almost exclusively hosts personal video. It’s the ultimate destination for cute babies and talented kitties. Videos are protected by the site’s privacy functions, and are only embeddable by their original uploader. The company recently told us that 40 percent of its uploads come from webcams — this is a very different kind of video activity than we see on other sites.

But honestly, Facebook is just big; anything it does is going to be big. Its photo-sharing feature has more traffic than any of the world’s photo-specific sites. Still, the site hasn’t invested in video the way competitors like MySpace (s NWS) have, where premium content and original web productions are prominently featured. And MySpace, measured as part of Fox Interactive Media, had 55.2 million video viewers in March, more than four times as many as Facebook.

The contrast between the two approaches is borne out in the two sites’ video views, which comScore also measures. Facebook had just 37.6 million video views in March, placing it way out of the top 10, and below many media distributors with fewer visitors, like ESPN (s DIS), Comcast (s CMCSA) and MySpace had 437 million video views. Facebook users watched just three videos each in March, while MySpace users watched eight.

But while Facebook may not be a premium video company, user video is its forte. When we visited Facebook earlier this year, video developer Chris Putnam told us the site was receiving 415,000 user-submitted video uploads per day. By contrast, MySpace said it was receiving just 70,000.

13 Responses to “Facebook On the Verge of Being a Top 10 Video Site”

  1. The greatest benefit of Facebook is that it has many groups on the site that you can join. So if you are interested in Chicago Cubs you can research Chicago Cubs in the groups section and you will be able to find friends on there that like the Cubs. This is just one example, I know that you can join groups of your favorite football team, television show, or whatever you want for the most part! If you can’t find a group for your interest, you can simply create one!


  2. This is a very interesting point and it should be just the start. People love their communities and Facebook should in time look to be a huge player in video – and video content owners (especially the TV networks) should look to benefit from this.
    There is a massive opportunity for video content owners to build their own video distribution networks rather than work with single partners such as Hulu (more applicable outside the US) or not distribute at all.
    This is not so important in terms of where the video is viewed, but important in terms of the fact that in about 10 years most TV will probably be online – and so the money will be there too. TV networks must follow the money – which isn’t online yet, but they absolutely must own the billing relationship with advertisers.
    Following the money absolutely means owning the sales relationship. Build a network across high-traffic sites with happy communities; change the shape of that network to suit commercial objectives – for example, if you need more women to sate ad demand, do a deal around female-focussed programming with iVillage, and if a partner doesn’t deliver, kick them off. Work with Facebook – promote different shows to different demographics (what a great way to launch a new show) – but own the advertising.
    Work with Facebook – but own the advertising; work with Youtube, MSN, AOL – own the advertising.
    Because one day that advertising is going to be huge and it’s all about the best video content. Just think how big the TV industry is right now, that is the type of scale you should be considering. And if someone else is selling the ads on your behalf, then you are losing out; and if two of you are selling it, then you are creating confusion.
    So here’s a network message form an ad network guy – build your own, drive it forward and keep control.

  3. It will be interesting to see how FB deals with the ever-increasing bandwidth cost of hosting everyone’s non-monetizable “cat riding vaccum cleaner vids”. This is an issue several other video sharing sites are also experiencing, and some are even beginning to block non-professionally produced video. That’s a lot of terabytes for no revenue.

  4. Wow…. Top 10 is awesome. Though since Facebook started out as intellectual social media in a sea of juveline media (no offense MySpace), it’s no surprise. People needed something smarter to identify with, to work with and to connect on. And via FB, they found it. Rock on Facebook!

  5. The web is social. Developers just like you have built applications on Facebook Platform that millions of people use everyday. Join our developer community and help make the web even more social