Facebook 109: Uploading a Video to Facebook

Facebook‘s video player isn’t as popular as its photo sharing application (which is the most popular photo sharing site in the world), but it’s a great way to share video with a defined group of people.

In YouTube, you have the choice of sharing either with the whole world or with a group of up to 25 of your YouTube friends. There’s really no intermediate option.

In Facebook you can make the sharing much more widespread without sharing with the world. And you can “tag” your video with the names of your Facebook friends who are featured, which makes it likely that they and their friends will see it, because it will show up in their news feeds.

It’s also possible to share videos just with members of a group, whether its members are all friends of yours or not. So, for example, I uploaded some videos of my daughter’s volleyball team to a group I had created as an on-line “booster” club.

picture-8

Here’s a video screencast for Facebook 109, demonstrating how you can upload a video to your personal Facebook profile:

<a href="http://youtube.com/watch?v=PW1taSN0MjM" onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://youtube.com']);">http://youtube.com/watch?v=PW1taSN0MjM</a>

Advantages of Facebook for Video Sharing:

  1. If Facebook users see and like your video, it’s really easy for them to share it with their Facebook friends (assuming you’ve allowed either Everyone or Friends of Friends to have access).
  2. As mentioned above (and as demonstrated in the screencast) you can limit who can see your video much more precisely. For example, you could customize the sharing so only friends can see, except those who are on your “Work Friends” list.
  3. Given Facebook’s popularity for photo sharing, it’s nice to be able to share both photos and videos on the same site.
  4. Users can comment on your videos, but they use their real names instead of relatively anonymous YouTube user IDs. This makes it more likely those commenting will behave themselves, and will reduce the potential crudity factor.
  5. The quality of the player is really good, especially with the new H.264 encoding.

Some disadvantages of using Facebook instead of YouTube:

  1. You can’t embed the Facebook player in your blog. People can only see the video on Facebook. This makes your content less portable. For instance, the screencast above was uploaded to my YouTube account and then embedded here. You could embed it in your blog if you’d like.
  2. You don’t get traffic figures on how many people are watching your video.
  3. People who aren’t in Facebook can’t see your video (at least I think not). If you don’t have a Facebook profile, please click this link and let us know in the comments whether you could see the video I uploaded during the tutorial. So if you want to share a video and don’t particularly care who sees it (and want it to be seen as widely as possible), YouTube is your best choice.

It isn’t, of course, an either/or proposition. You can upload videos to both YouTube and Facebook, but that’s double the work, double the upload time. An alternative is to upload your videos to YouTube, and then post the link to your video on your Facebook profile, page or group.

Assignments:

  1. Create a video file. If you need help in how to create a video file, check out these posts about the Flip.
  2. Upload the file to the SMUG group in Facebook.
  3. Share the video link with some Facebook friends (as you saw in the screencast), or post it to your Facebook profile.

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2 Comments

  1. Scott Meis
    Posted November 7, 2008 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Great analysis Lee. The lack of tracking on Facebook is the real killer for me. They do enable you to track views through video additions on pages, but it blows my mind that they haven’t integrated some form of analytics for regular uploads.

    I did come across this site called Hey!Spread (http://heyspread.com/) which basically enables you to upload across multiple platforms at one time. I haven’t used the site myself, but it looks like it does cost a small fee per upload portal ($.05/portal if I’m reading it right on their site). Anyhow, may be useful for larger corporations.

    I’ve personally found that I need to upload videos with different dimensions and compressions for different sites to optimize quality. That is one area where Facebook stands above YouTube as you can’t beat having the ability to display HD quality.

  2. Posted November 29, 2008 at 3:24 am | Permalink

    A great post!

    I’ll also be happy to hear your opinion on our new Ckuik.com which is a Non stop Youtube video shows creator, registration-free, as easy as a search engine, loaded with features such as download on the fly, embeding of your video-show, Video aggregator, related arstists, Pandora-style extend your taste feature and a lot more.

    Thank again.

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