Is Facebook massaging the figures?

Is Facebook massaging the figures?

Facebook is caught doing something sneaky with its video feed i.e. embedded video vs native Facebook video player.

Facebook claimed that it generates the same number of video views as YouTube. This was a bold statement. But, this got people to do further investigation.

How did they "massage" the numbers?

Facebook's Autoplay feature automatically starts playing videos when they appear on your feed, counting them as views after just three seconds. This can inflate view counts without users actually engaging with the content. In contrast, YouTube waits much longer, typically around thirty seconds, before considering a video viewed, which may provide a more accurate measure of video engagement.

Conflict of interest? or self-promotion?

Just as Microsoft sets its Internet Explorer as a default browser on the Windows OS, Facebook is now prioritising its own native video player over YouTube and other embedded videos.

Hank Green has compiled a great article highlighting the conversations that people are starting to have. This article also shines a light on how dependent we are on Google and Facebook for digital advertising; accepting the metrics and results they report as truth. We must take caution in blindly trusting such digital advertising platforms.

“90% of people scrolling the page are still ‘watching’ this silent animated GIF. But by 30 seconds, when viewership actually could be claimed, only 20% are watching. 90% of people are being counted, but only 20% of people are actually “viewing” the video.”
– Hank Green
Theft, Lies, and Facebook Video
Facebook says it’s now streaming more video than YouTube. To be able to make that claim, all they had to do was cheat, lie, and steal.

In addition, you can also watch this video by Destin from Smarter Every Day on Facebook 'freebooting', highlighting the challenges he faced between the different platforms.