Facebook wants to win the race for the Internet. But one frontier that it hasn't yet mastered is video. If Facebook can capture the video-viewing Web audience, its users will stay on the site longer, sharing more with each other and to their Walls.
As the concept of social TV continues growing, Facebook has an opportunity to reinvent social sharing around frictionlessly sharing full-length television shows and movies rather than just YouTube channels and clips.
Currently, Facebook is not the Internet's top video site. A new report from ComScore report confirms that as of December 2011, Google Sites, driven mostly by video views on YouTube, are still the top destination for online video watching. Google sites are closely followed by VEVO, Viacom Digital and then Facebook. What would it take for Facebook to be number one?
The majority of user-generated content videos begin on YouTube, eventually ending up on Facebook. When a video maker thinks about creating content, they'll create a video, upload it to YouTube and then share it to Facebook. Videos rarely go to Facebook first. To truly surpass YouTube, Facebook would have to create a reason for users to make videos for it.
YouTube also partners with outside networks, hosting videos from music and other types of channels. The ComScore report shows VEVO @ YouTube as the channel with the most total unique viewers, followed by Warner Music and gaming channel Machinima. The partnering aspect of the report does not include any user-generated content.
Facebook recently announced social sharing apps that would allow users to share what they're watching when they're watching it, but this is just the beginning. To become the Internet's top video site, Facebook will have to convince users that frictionless sharing is not wrong. And that's no easy feat.