There is no doubt that Facebook has been the go-to social media platform in recent years. The multi-million dollar business is valued at more than $245 Million, more than Walmart. However, with the steady fame the platform has maintained, they have developed ways to steal millions of dollars from content creators.
Facebook recently shared with the public that it has achieved a mark of 8 billion video views per day. This seems like a great feat for a company that launched in 2004. This is, of course, until you realize that, in quarter 1 of 2015, 725 of the 1000 most viewed videos Facebook had were stolen from YouTube(17 Billion views). Facebook is cheating.
The company can afford to hire engineers to rig their algorithms so that videos that are uploaded to their player are preferred to YouTube links. This is a way to keep viewers on their site as long as possible, displaying as many advertisements as possible. The resulting ad-share is given to Facebook rather than YouTube, the video’s origin.
The main fault is with Facebook’s auto-play feature. A view on Facebook is realized after about 3 seconds; scroll through your timeline slow enough and you count as a viewer. This inflates the viewer number and allows the company to brag about large numbers and continue pretending. While auto-play is an issue, it is not the main one.
Freebooting, or the stealing of videos, is the main problem. Since Facebook’s video player is largely preferred, stolen videos reach way more people than the original videos that require a link to YouTube or the original source. This is really bad news for content creators.
Videos that are uploaded wrongly to Facebook give creators nearly zero exposure. Only the thief and Facebook profit from this. Quality content takes a lot of creativity and time. If content creators see relatively no profit from their hard work, it makes no sense to keep on creating. This could result in a bottleneck effect of new media.
YouTube has policies in place to protect its own creators. Facebook, on the other hand, constantly announces one milestone after another. Creators are often unaware of stolen content on Facebook. However, once they find a stolen video, there is a lengthy process to get the video removed. Once removed, the video has most likely received 99% of the views it will ever get. Conveniently, the thief does not have to worry about any repercussions.
Facebook has realized the issue that is harming creators and announced that it wants to change. It is hard to see any changes taking effect in the near future and Facebook does not plan to share profits with any creators. The best bet is if you plan on posting a video to Facebook, include a link to YouTube. This will undoubtedly protect creators and their content.
Matthew is an Graduate MBA student at Indiana University. He is involved in data analysis, market research, and statistics. He enjoys reading, writing and community involvement.