Industry Insights

You Just Did WHAT? How Facebook’s Video Culture Is Squeezing Content Creators

By January 7, 2019 No Comments
Facebook video

Facebook video gets over eight billion views per day on average. Yes, EIGHT BILLION. It’s not an insignificant number.  As a content creator, it’s amazingly attractive, whether you’re just getting your feet wet with your audience or you’re drawing in tens of thousands of viewers with each upload. You KNOW you want a piece of that action. And why wouldn’t you? After all — eight billion is nothing to laugh about.

But while those numbers are undeniable, here’s another truth: Facebook has some very significant policies that make it seem very anti-creator. First off, they don’t have any laws against re-uploads (yes, you read that right. Here’s the proof). Second, if you upload a link from a third party, you get significantly less exposure than if you upload straight to Facebook. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

We get it — it’s a battle for the audience. YouTube is making moves to keep their viewers on their site, and interacting with their platform. But is it at the cost of content creators? Check out why we think the answer is yes.

1. First off, Facebook is tampering with your metrics.

Back in 2015, Facebook was cooking the books. We didn’t find out until 2016.

Launching into a video advertising overhaul, Facebook’s new metrics bamboozled hundreds of ad dollars out of companies (especially the media) in favor of these almost unbelievable viewership metrics. They eventually settled — but even now, it’s hard to find someone at HQ who’s willing to admit that it happened.

Now the moral of the story here is easy: Are you willing to gamble your content on a platform that hides the real metrics? If Facebook is your only real avenue to revenue, this may not be the smartest way to grow your bottom line, even if there are millions of people watching every day. When you’re just starting out, every little dollar counts and you need more options for getting dollars, not less.

2. Your content is at the mercy of the algorithm. Are you willing to take that risk?

We teased it before, but it’s absolutely true: Facebook highlights it’s native content over shared content. But that’s not all.

Facebook’s algorithm takes into account SO many different considerations: engagement level, the frequency of posting, even your trustworthy-ness, that getting a video to get in front of the people you regularly engage with is more like a search-and-rescue rather than a window display. If you’re not constantly updating, utilizing Facebook Live, and getting engaged with your entire follow group pretty regularly, you could be wasting a lot of time posting your video on Facebook. Why? Because the algorithm is measuring all of those things really closely, and ranking your content against thousands of other people who are trying to do the same thing you’re doing. If the gates to the audience are too high, is it even worth the time?

If you want your focus to stay on the creative, and keep yourself from being a slave to your own promotion, there are content distribution options for you to consider. Endavo’s unique platform is a mix of Netflix-meets-YouTube, where users can upload to one platform, and then deliver to social platforms like Facebook and YouTube, without having to worry about being tied to the message. Check it out — it’s got a lot of great perks for someone looking to make a big impact across the web.  

3. Your content is up for grabs. We’re not kidding.

And the worst part is this: Facebook doesn’t have the best handle on how to keep copyright infringers off of your content. Back in 2015, Fortune wrote a great article about Facebook growing without any care about copyright. So Facebook did something about it — but not much.

Now Facebook will take down content that’s copyrighted, but it will take them a significant amount of time to do it (24 hours in the digital world is an age, just think of how quickly the “Rings” prank video went viral), at which point, you may have already lost out on big revenue dollars because of an unauthorized person getting their hands on your content. Think this is just a flash in the pan? Try searching “facebook hacks for getting around copyright infringement” and you’ll get 12.1 million relevant articles in .60 seconds. There are ways around the FB blocks even now — and they aren’t difficult to find.
The moral of this story? If you’re not ready to hand over the reins on your content, you need to consider another option.

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