YouTube today integrated Facebook Connect, endorsing the social sharing site and its power to bring people to content. YouTube users will now be able to directly share with their Facebook friends the videos they publish on YouTube (s GOOG). They can also automatically send uploads to Twitter and Google Reader.
As close watchers of the social TV phenomenon, whose breakthrough moment was the Obama inauguration, we’ve posited multiple times that the two sites would be a perfect match for one another. But it seemed unlikely that YouTube would integrate Facebook Connect, given its parent Google has a competing product, Google Friend Connect.
Well, the unlikely has now happened, and it has implications beyond just sharing videos from one site to the other (which has long been possible using embed codes). YouTube could benefit from Facebook’s identity system and growing influence over traffic on the Internet, along with Twitter. Here’s what we wrote about a potential integration in April.
Combining users’ real-world identity with their experiences on YouTube should make the video site much more monetizable. YouTube watchers, if they’re even logged in, often go by AOL chat room-era nicknames like daisychick98. Whereas Facebook has cultivated a gigantic user base that shares real names and information. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like Facebook has the business model all figured out, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have something to offer YouTube. Connecting comments to users’ real names could bring the level of discourse on the video site out of the gutter, and cultivate more active participation among members.
In an email, Facebook noted some stats from other entertainment implementations of Facebook Connect:
- Joost: Since Joost implemented Facebook Connect in December 2008, the average Facebook Connect Joost user has watched 30% more videos and entered 15% more comments about a video on average. Additionally, Connect users have invited 38% more friends to the site.
- CNN: During their inauguration live feed, more than 2 million status updates were posted through CNN.com, and there was an average of 4,000 status updates made every minute during the broadcast.
- For the season finale of “The Real Housewives of New York City,” Bravo integrated Facebook Connect with BravoTV.com to allow fans to connect with friends and comment on the show. After the live viewing party, traffic on the site increased 34% in unique visitors and 78% in page views, versus the prior four-week time frame.