Why YouTube is Now Bigger than Facebook in the US
Social media, like many terms in the interactive venue, is tied to the rise of a very successful brand. That brand, as all of us know, is Facebook. These terms catch the public imagination first and foremost, but are hazy on definitions. Ad campaign managers prefer it this way: Facebook=Social Media. However, Facebook’s success has not been limited to one company alone – the social media landscape is verdant with many other growths, and some have even preceded Facebook.
“Wot?” you might suddenly ask. Yes, it’s true – Yahoo, YouTube and Google came earlier, but were not specifically known as social media sites, even when their videos, feeds and alerts are heavily cross-linked and cross-referenced across the entire video ecosystem. As this article is written, the industry (?!) is trying to digest the many dimensions related to the fact that YouTube has edged out Facebook as the most visited social media sites in the US. CompetePRO data had 167,848,349 unique visitors to YouTube.com in June 2014 while Facebook.com had 166,497,314.
The decibel count of the industry debate surrounding this fact does not reflect how the industry prefers amorphous, cross-dimensional sites that have a variety of uses in interactive activity. Facebook was the first complete social media site, defining how such sites should be. But a YouTube manual (Creator Playbook for Brands) puts the gospel this way, “Cross-channel, device-agnostic campaigns are the key social success.” Google has Google+ and Yahoo has Answers, sites which answer the advertising definition. The key to it all is a brand’s preferred or primary service. All sites compete for audience share but are relatively friendly in the way they share content.
It was bound to happen – YouTube video channels are ignored by any site to its detriment. And Facebook is anything but close-minded about it. The question best asked about the idea of YouTube being bigger than Facebook in the US is therefore, “Why haven’t the most read pundits, the idea experts, and the public in general considered YouTube a legitimate Facebook competitor in social media?” The answer: they don’t care. Any program that generates social media action is useful in making the entire industry progress, and the most successful brands share democratic space with everyone else. ReelSEO’s Greg Jarboe implies that the news is a happy one and the debate attached is a way to agree on the best ways to progress from this fact. It is a conclusion many, except the haters, probably share.