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YouTube CEO on Facebook video ambitions: 'They should get back to baby pictures' (cnbc.com)
57 points by smacktoward on Feb 13, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 64 comments

YouTube has been an incredible place for building an audience for me. I started publishing videos in November of last year and growth has been dramatic (for me at least— my content is pretty niche, I review website builders): http://s3.amazonaws.com/sitebuilderreport-assets/images/file...

Facebook on the other hand turned my Facebook "page" into a payola scheme where I had to pay to access my audience. Lame.

Assuming no new growth, in 10 months you will be able to make money from YouTube.

Do you think the 4000 watch hours in the past 12 months is too high or just right?

I'm probably not a good person to ask. I make money through affiliate links in my video descriptions— so I have no plans to use Youtube's official monetization programs.

If your goal is affiliate clicks, why do views & mins of engagement matter?

Seems like the measure would be which platform generated more clicks that convert.

Pages are horrible money grabs and a waste.

Create a group. They get feed priority from what I've been able to gather.

Also notifications.

All my notifications are groups these days.

Stats go back to 2013, but the oldest video appear be from 2017, what’s the deal?

Back in 2013 I had published a few random, low-quality videos. Removed them when I started taking video seriously last November.

Is that all organic traffic?

41% Youtube suggested videos

31% embeds on my website

19% Youtube search

3% Youtube browse features

3% Youtube channel page

She may be right.

Facebook has a lot of problems on its plate right now, but one of the worst trends has been the poorly thought out march to video. It came from Zuckerberg (1 and 2) and was repeated by senior FB executives, and then became a mantra for publishers. Many made large investments in video programming for Facebook, only to find the money isn't there and Facebook later decided to demote publisher content (3 and 4).

This is not just large media companies that got burned, I know some smaller producers who believed the "five years the feed will be all video" baloney and shifted their efforts accordingly. Some were doing really important work, too, around causes or local news. What a waste.

Meanwhile, it seems that overall video consumption in Facebook is declining, and it's the one percent that get the most engagement, regardless of who the publisher is (5).

I personally would not mind if Facebook turned back the clock 10 years, when most conversations seemed to be personal and text-based, and the truckloads of memes, ads, gaming achievements, real and fake news, and videos of cats playing the piano had yet to be shoved down Facebook's maw and into our feeds. Old-school text discussions seem to work for HN, why can't it work for Facebook?

1. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/mark-zuckerberg-faceb...

2. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/facebook-shares-up-re...

3. https://www.recode.net/2017/1/17/14269406/facebook-live-vide...

4. https://digiday.com/media/digiday-research-publishers-making...

5. https://www.wochit.com/blog/social-video-performance-index-2...

> Old-school text discussions seem to work for HN, why can't it work for Facebook?

People don't really read in the same way as you might have previously expected. ("Reading a short blurb or a tweet" is not the same thing.) Can't or don't want to, I don't know, but they don't. You see the edges of it here, too--tl;drs on HN posts, sometimes, that are less than a screenful of text. And people think you're "spending a lot of effort" when you bang out a post about as long as yours is--and, sometimes, try to frame it as a bad thing.

I tend to think Thomas Pettitt has a point[1].

[1] - https://archives.cjr.org/the_audit/the_future_is_medieval.ph...

The facebook video playing experience is also getting "fixed" to death - getting more horrible with every change.

The ui is bad, the # clicks needed is growing, autoplay random videos vs playing what I actually want to watch[1], all of these issues are getting worse.

[1] If you scroll through a page, and click a video to play it, then keep scrolling, the video comes along with your scrolling. But once you want to watch another video, when you click on the new video in the stream, the old video stops but still stays on the screen frozen. there is some odd interaction between these 2 actions (I'm assuming controlled by javascript) and it's like the videos are fighting each other over what should be shown/played. It's really stupid - I can 100% predict the issue is because the teams working on these 2 features are not communicating with one another, and so are trying to optimize the user to "pay attention" to both things at once. This kind of engineering just turns me off so much that 90% of the time I close facebook and go find the video on youtube and watch it there.

Saving to my feed for later use. Thanks

You can use the safe, free and top rated FB Purity browser add-on to get Facebook back to how it used to be (without ads,memes, images, videos, game posts, etc etc : http://fbpurity.com

That particular comment has generated a lot of appropriate snark in light of YouTube's recent controversies involving disturbing children videos and Logan Paul: https://twitter.com/cwarzel/status/963268727646035968

Facebook isn't going away. However it seems to be coming apart because its hard to argue that FB improves, rather than burdens, people's lives. Its simply easier, less distracting and often happier connecting outside FB's walled garden. For example:

  Messenger --> rampant competition from about a dozen apps.

  Community --> reported audience declines. From participation fatigue, privacy concerns, and competing sites.

  Publishing --> push-back from content providers and publishers who don't wish to be assimilated into the 'borg'.

  Payments --> no real competitive offering.

  FederatedID/SSO --> rampant competition from Google, LinkedIN, Github, etc.
I really believe Facebook is grossly overvalued as an internet property, much in the same way MySpace and AOL were in the 'old days'. I also suspect that Twitter remains undervalued in terms of influence and - importantly - 2nd/3rd order reach (eg. republishing).

There's something to be said for building products that make people's lives easier and truly happier, and I'm not sure that FB does either anymore.

> I really believe Facebook is grossly overvalued as an internet property

You could have made this exact argument in 2012 when FB was worth $20/share. Was this argument wrong in 2012 but correct in 2018?

Yes. Look at FB earnings per share and tell me where that growth is going to come from. I note FB is down today. The market is slow to catch on in both directions, but when it does...

Where did the growth come from in 2012?

IMO Facebook video is a non-starter because of branding. Facebook is not a destination for video.

Facebook is to video as youtube is to social networking.

This is true. There was recently a huge controversy in the Dota 2 community, because a major tournament exclusively moved to Facebook livestreaming (away from twitch).

One of the most common complaints was something like "I'd never use Facebook, because I hate the company!"

Also, frankly, the tech product for livestreaming isn't anywhere near feature competitive.

Oh my God. She just gave Mark Zuckerberg a rallying chant; he will write this on all Facebook walls and rally developers to improve Facebook video.

IMO that’s probably good for Google because it’s likely going to be a wasted effort. Even if they built great stuff, I can’t see this being more successful than something like Google+ or Facebook’s attempts at making an Android launcher. There’s just no motivation for users to get on board with this. In terms of video, I think they may be able to do something similar to what Snapchat has done, but that’s about it.

And change the api the next day destroying all work done by said developers.

Similar to what Dell said about Apple back in the day.

Too bad you have to be on Facebook to use Facebook video.

It will sure end badly for Google, just like that time that Zuck decided to go head-to-head against Gmail.

Everybody remembers when Facebook took over from Gmail, right?

Disclaimer: Am Googler

My 2c is that for mass consumption, streaming is where the puck is going, not short-form videos. Kids are watching Minecraft streaming, they're not watching punks like Logan Paul until they are in their teens, and my guess is as those younger kids get older, tastes will change and Paul et al will be done. And even when you think about teens, streamers like Dr Disrespect seem to capture far more zeitgeist than YouTubers. Is Casey Neistat really a thing anymore?

IMHO Facebook really should be doubling-down on local sharing and improving that experience, Google Photos is far and away the best photo product for me. Replicating YouTube won't work, the quality of the platform and the network effects are too strong. Whether Facebook can do something disruptive like Twitch I don't know. Maybe IRL streaming of C-list celebrities like Snoop or Kylie Jenner?

IMHO you can't expect the preferences of particular age groups to stay the same as they age, as their needs change drastically because of their lifestyle.

In particular, a major difference between streaming and edited short-form videos is the density of content, and the preference for that highly depends on the availability of your time. If you have all the free time in the world (or even an actual need to spend it because you're stuck waiting somewhere where you don't want to be), then streaming is excellent; if you're generally busy and overwhelmed with things you want/need to do, streaming sucks, you want an edited, compressed "highlight reel" that gets straight to the point.

So the fact that streaming is the thing for particular group (even if generally trend-setting) doesn't mean that streaming is where the puck is going; they might stick with particular brands/services/tools/ecosystems because of the habits they form now, but they are likely to use less streaming in a decade (and the youngsters replacing them are going to take up streaming) because of changing needs in their life.

> Google Photos is far and away the best photo product for me

This statement intrigued me a bit, so I decided to check out what Google Photos is (sorry, you have so many products and change them so quickly I'm not keeping up anymore). So it looks like a refurbished version of Picasa. I understand why someone would like to use it, but I also know why neither me nor many of my friends will ever use it: since we're forced to use Google services almost everywhere, every instance when we don't is a small win. For a growing number of people reducing dependency on Google is of paramount importance.

disagree, youtube is the place people go for better-edited, entertainment-focused video game content. pewdiepie is still #1 on youtube and has survived criticisms of being alt-right. also, vloggers and music videos will always be popular with the huge parts of the population that don't play 'core' games. online UGC video is still an immature industry so some of the best content for the average reddit user (20-30 y.o. male) is just mature vloggers criticizing immature vloggers (idubbbz, h3h3) but in the long run better things will surface ('every frame a painting' is an actually great channel for example)

twitch has cut out a new market IMO, it's not directly replacing youtube. i expect different things on twitch -- generally speaking, more boring, unprofessional and unedited content that's focused almost entirely on learning how to play games better and occasional audience interaction.

as for facebook, i have no idea what they should do because i don't know anyone who likes it anymore

> IMHO Facebook really should be doubling-down on local sharing and improving that experience, Google Photos is far and away the best photo product for me.

Do you mean that Google Photos is a better way for you to share your photos than Facebook?

It's better for my immediate family, worse for my social network as a whole.

I actually think there is a huge opportunity for there to be competition with youtube... but not directly under the facebook brand. It'll have to be something like Instagram.


Facebook, especially with younger people, is a corrupted brand. Youth do not want to go to facebook just because of the connotations behind it.

I can't speak to other countries, but here in the UK, you basically have to be on Facebook to engage in anything at university. Societies, sports clubs, parties, they're all organised on Facebook. There's not even a comparable service for people to theoretically move to. So I would disagree, it's still a vital service for young people.

In American universities and with kids in high school and younger, Snapchat and Instagram rule. Also Musical.ly is an up-and-comer with the even younger crowd.

Kid's parents and relatives are on Facebook. They don't want their crazy liberal lives on display for their parents, aunts and uncles. As of now Facebook primarily serves as a messenger when one forgets or loses contact information.

In America, Facebook is uncool, Instagram is cool. Reminds me of the days Facebook was cool. Warning, my mom has an Instagram account.

You're missing my point though, Snapchat, Instagram and Musical.ly do not offer features for organising events.

As a user, the only wortwhile facebook videos are home-made ones that my friends post. It's a terrible medium for accessing information (Because you can't search, or easily link to it), and the overwhelming majority of the time, I don't want to see the shared CLICKBAIT shit THAT USES ALL CAPS to EMPHASISE how YOU SHOULD FEEL when watching this VIDEO.

YouTube's video recommendations are much better for me - and even then, they have a very low hit rate. The difference is that I see a dozen of them in the sidebar, instead of one at a time, they are unobtrusive, and they don't autoplay.

If Facebook made a YouTube clone, that would be great for users. They aren't, though - Facebook Video is delivering an objectively worse user experience.

It should stick to baby's first steps videos.

Because there are all sort of signs that Facebooks decline has begun. Read yesterdays top posts on HN.

Because a lot of people don't want all the other stuff that comes with having a facebook.

Youtube gets this right and puts the content first, on all endpoints. I see a youtube video and click it, I get a video.

If I see a facebook link, there are many problems:

- I don't know if it's a video

- I don't know if I'll see a login page or if I'll get to the content

- I don't know if the content is viewable by me because of privacy settings

And then this works the other way - why should I share a video on facebook when I can't tell if my recipient will be able to see the video? I don't know if they'll get a login prompt. I don't know if they have the permissions to see the video.

All this friction doesn't exist with youtube, or at least is extremely minimal.

Agreed. I'm always weary of clicking on a Facebook video because I don't want a history of that going on my wall or some other kind of trail. I don't want all the baggage that comes with Facebook.

And a small 10s commercial on a YouTube video is a small price to put up with in comparison to the rest of the shit that comes with being in the Facebook ecosystem.

Only reason I still have an account is to be in touch with some high school friends and that's something I barely do these days.

> Youtube gets this right and puts the content first, on all endpoints. I see a youtube video and click it, I get a video.

More like "I see a youtube video and click it, I get a 10s commercial"

You're right, whenever I see embedded FB-video on forums or reddit I avoid it. If its really a must-see video, I open it in incognito mode.

Interestingly, we don’t post any baby photos on Facebook because it’s too toxic of an environment. We use WhatsApp, which is still owned by Facebook but much harder for them to monetize.

Instagram is Facebook's attempt to dethrone YT as the dominant player in the video sector. Once they remove time limits and allow some form of basic player controls, we're probably going to see some sort of shift. Instagram's UX/UI is, in my opinion, smoother than that of the YT app.

If the content and discoverabilty isn’t there, it’s not going to matter. No matter what Microsoft does with Bing, they’re not going to win for the same reason.

There is certainly space to compete with YouTube. I think YouTube ads are getting a bit annoying, especially when you can't skip them. If a valid challenger were to arise, I feel monetisation strategy is where this battle will be lost or won. The least annoying/intrusive will win every time.

Oh man, don't be this smug. You be this smug, you regret it later.

"I mean" said 7 times. Maybe that is the benefit of "umm" - when you have that verbal tic, it usually isn't included in transcriptions.

Facebook isn't a good contender, not on its main website, but YouTube is falling quickly and this talk just motivates competitors more.

Youtube isn't perfect but the facebook video player is terrible.

Underestimating competition is never a good idea, especially publicly like this. Horse carriage drivers also laughed about automobiles... initially

The early automobiles were a joke, so they called it like they saw it. You can hardly blame people for not seeing where it would lead, often beyond their professional lives. Take for contrast the reaction of French factory workers when automated textile production started to come online, or cabbies when automated fare metering hit.


It seems very obvious none of the YouTube exec team use the product as a creator. Casey Neistat even interviewed one of their executives this week and his opening question of "Have you ever made a YouTube video?" was hit with a fast "No."

I cannot believe I am saying this, but I am rooting for Facebook to build a competition against Youtube.

Youtube seems to be one of the more egregious parts of the Google ecosystem.

Like sure Gmail has its problems, but ultimately it is an excellent web based email system that's hard to beat because it's a great product.

Youtube's main strength seems to be primarily its first mover advantage, and the fact that building a video hosting site is a rather costly venture.

Neither of those are a very defensive moat against competitors like Amazon and Facebook

I do not think gmail is an excellent product. For me it's backed by a giant that guarantees its availability and functionality almost anywhere in the world (looking at you China). I would use something else in a blink of an eye.

Yeah, my hate for facebook is not going to stop me from enjoying some schadenfreude when facebook hits them hard.

Why? What's wrong with YouTube? Wouldn't Facebook video have the same problems?

Ditto. It's nice to see this kind of hubris and dismissal be beaten.

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