Should I upload my video to Facebook or YouTube?

You have produced an amazing piece of video content and you want as many people as possible to see it on Facebook.

You’re now faced with a question faced by many a content producer… ‘Should I upload to YouTube, or Facebook?’

The difference being by uploading it to YouTube you share it via a link, while uploading directly to Facebook it appears as a native video.

The short answer is you should upload it to both.

Let me explain…

YouTube is the biggest video sharing network in the world and your YouTube Channel is a great place for people to find your content. YouTube is also great for having your content appear in Google search as YouTube is owned by Google.

The problem with sharing your YouTube video to Facebook is that Facebook doesn’t play nice. It will show your video link with a tiny little preview image that looks quite unappealing (see below). Facebook also doesn’t allow any autoplay options for YouTube links.

Adding to that is the organic reach (i.e. who will see your video), will be dramatically reduced. Although no one knows exactly how the Facebook algorithm (the code that decides what you see on Facebook) works, we do know from experience it doesn’t favour YouTube links.

Search Engine Journal (check it out here) did a study in 2015 that found reach on YouTube video links was half of what Facebook videos received, and through our work here at Social Tap, we have witnessed a further decrease.

This brings us to Facebook native video. When you upload a video directly to Facebook, the user experience is much better, the video is displayed as a full image across the timeline, it auto-plays in the news feed, and the organic reach is much greater.

Any boosted posts and video advertising you do with native Facebook video will also result in a far lower CPV (cost per view), than promoting YouTube video links.

This brings us to the conclusion that uploading the video twice reaps double the benefits. Once to your YouTube Channel and once to native Facebook video, so no handy shortcuts here!

Pro Tip:

Facebook is very picky about allowing licensed content to be uploaded and will block videos which include things such as licensed music. This is much less of a problem than on YouTube as licensed music can be used under certain circumstances. You can read more about that here.

If your video contains licensed music that you have a right to use, consider the third option, Vimeo. Sharing a Vimeo video on Facebook offers a good user experience, the thumbnail displays across the whole feed, and reach seems to be much higher than YouTube.

If you want to read more about how Facebook is working to protect the rights of content creators you can read this great blog from Wild Bunch Media.

Happy uploading!