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Facebook Now Biggest Driver of Video Traffic Behind Google

When it comes to watching videos online, there is one dominant player: Google. The search giant drives more traffic to video sites than Facebook, Yahoo, Bing, and Twitter combined. But another player is fast catching up: Facebook.

According to a report by Brightcove and Tubemogul, released Thursday, Facebook has overtaken Yahoo to become the second largest source of video traffic. The world's most popular social network just about doubled its referral traffic in the past quarter, and now accounts for 9.6% of the market. Google, Yahoo, and Bing all fell in the third quarter. Only Facebook made significant gains.

Google's control of the market is far from being shaken. Though it dropped several percentage points, it still represents more than 50% of all video traffic referrals. What's more, Brightcove chose to exclude YouTube in its consumer data analysis, according to a statement. That undoubtedly means a significant chunk of Google's referrals have been cut out of this report.

YouTube boasts more than 700 billion views in the last year—that's about 2 billion views per day—and has  become a powerful player in search, never mind videos. According to a ComScore report, if you stack YouTube's internal search engine against other search engines, it would have a larger market share than Yahoo.

But that doesn't change how impressive Facebook's gains are, especially for a social network. All the sites save one Facebook was compared with—Google, Yahoo, Bing—are search engines. Facebook's growth in referral traffic is yet another indicator that social search is where the future is heading.

[Image by P Flannagan]