So Facebook continues to ape other platforms they’ve turned their attention to YouTube. Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) recently released IGTV which is YouTube for portrait videos (or maybe not much of a YouTube at all). They are also now making Facebook Watch globally available, as it was only available in the USA.
There has always been video content on YouTube but Watch looks to organize the content better. At the time of writing Watch only seems to available for mobile users. I don’t seem to see any options on the Desktop version of Facebook so maybe that will be added at a later date.
Users can add shows to their watchlist which is equivalent to subscribing to a channel on YouTube. Once new shows are added, users will receive notifications when the show has a new episode. The Watch section will also include live and pre-recorded videos.
As many of you would expect, Facebook will suggest new shows to your based on your viewing history and what your friends are watching as well. There’s a “most talked about” and “what’s making people laugh” section as well and these will look at the number of comments. It will be interesting to see what suggestions pop up from these sections and I don’t think YouTube has sections that are made in a similar manner.
Are they copying YouTube?
“They copied the living hell out of Snapchat so what stops them from doing the same with YouTube?” I hear you screaming in the back. If they are, this might not go according to plan for a few reasons.
Ease of use?
Well, for one the stories feature was very easy to integrate in their existing platforms. Stories took off on IG and on Whatsapp as the new Status. Hell, even YouTube a video platform also aped stories. That’s not the same with YouTube which is an entire platform with its own intricacies. Facebook’s Watch section will be integrated within Facebook and thus integrating menus and sections like YouTube has will make it much harder to navigate and that friction will push users away, I believe.
Creatures of habit?
It also seems that people use Facebook in a specific manner and these attempts to ape other applications have not been a run away success. This is why Facebook stories are not really a big thing as most users already feel like they have WhatsApp Status, IG Stories and Snapchat for that. Similarly people know YouTube as the place to go for videos and because YouTube has a catalogue of videos from it’s years of offering the service, I think they will still be the go to platform for video.
Maybe they are not copying at all…
YouTube is the biggest video-sharing platform on the internet for sure, but this does not mean anyone else tyring to move into that space is necessarily trying to copy them. There are platforms such as Patreon and Twitch which are also used by content creators to share videos. These are rarely refered to as YouTube copycats and maybe we shouldn’t look at Facebook in that light. When Instagram announced IGtv everyone thought it was a YouTube clone as well but it turned out to be something quite different from YouTube.