Should I Upload Videos to Facebook or Embed from YouTube?

One of the most common questions about video marketing that we get at Golden Arm Media is whether a business should upload their videos natively to Facebook or upload them to YouTube and then share the link to Facebook.

Since YouTube is the second largest search engine on the internet, you might assume that it would be easier and better to upload your video to YouTube and then share it on Facebook via a link or embed code. In reality, there are some major benefits to uploading natively to Facebook.

With that said, you should really be uploading to both platforms natively, and here’s why:

  1. Native Format

Videos uploaded natively to Facebook and YouTube simply look better than embeds or links. When you see an embed from YouTube on a Facebook feed, it’s formatted with a small thumbnail image and description. It’s not nearly as attractive as the larger image you get with a native Facebook upload. On mobile devices, your video is shown as a full bleed image, so people are much more likely to notice and engage with the content.

  1. Facebook Autoplay

Only videos uploaded natively to Facebook have the autoplay feature. Imagine you’re scrolling through your news feed and see a YouTube embed with its buried thumbnail image. Then you scroll past another video and it instantly starts playing. It’s much easier to hook someone with motion than a still thumbnail image, especially if you’ve optimized the first three to five seconds of your video to better engage your viewers.

Facebook also recently implemented auto-sound with autoplay videos, meaning a video’s audio starts playing as well when you scroll by. Some users may find that annoying, but it could also be advantageous for some brands.

  1. Competing Platforms

Facebook and YouTube, which is owned and operated by Google, are huge competitors. Naturally, Facebook will try to push their own video product on people’s news feeds. In other words, Facebook’s algorithms will rank natively uploaded videos much higher than videos from YouTube or any other platform, making that content more visible.

You could spend hours debating which platform is better for video, but ultimately, the best thing to do is upload to both Facebook and YouTube. It takes some extra effort, but is completely worth it. Plus, you can always use a tool like Hootsuite to schedule posts and share your video content on both platforms at the same time.

All in all, investing in both platforms is important as Facebook and YouTube are going to be the two video behemoths moving forward. They already are, and I don’t think anyone’s going to be unseating them for a long time.


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