Good artists copy; great artists steal.
If there’s one thing you can count on with the predictability of the rising sun, it’s that Facebook will copy the features of a rival. Time and time again, from the newsfeed to live video, from Instagram stories to Messenger codes, Facebook is an expert in copying.
I say all of this, not to go on yet another rant about Facebook, but to lay out the case for why this next prediction is all but certain.
It’s no secret that Facebook is becoming a video platform
If you look at the number of videos shown in the feed, the relatively low cost of video ads, the unequal distribution of live video in the newfeed, and the prominent placement of a new video tab int he mobile app, it’s clear that Facebook is bullish on video.
Who is the KING of online video?
Youtube. If you guessed anything else you are mistaken. While Facebook has made massive strides in video, it still has a long way to go before it is in the same conversation as Youtube.
Besides being one of the oldest and most well known video platforms, there are two things that give Youtube the advantage currently:
- Search integration with Google
- A large number of creators
Let’s put the first one to the side for now and assume that until Facebook becomes a player in search that Google and YouTube will comfortably own that space.
But the large number of creators is an interesting factor.
Gee, I wonder what it could be?
Perhaps it’s all of the ad revenue independent video creators can generate by building an audience and monetizing those eyeballs with Adsense?
YouTube attracts creators because they share ad dollars with the creators.
So, what will Facebook do about that as they pursue becoming a dominant video platform?
You guessed it. Look forward to in-steam, pre-roll, and overlay video ads being introduced within the next 18 months on Facebook. Then look for the option to monetize your videos, first being introduced to celebrities and influencers (just like with Facebook Live), and then to the general public.
Mark my words: Facebook WILL copy this YouTube feature.
I just hope Google has the good sense to see it coming.