Although the premise is annoying on paper, users don’t seem to mind Facebook’s autoplay videos, which start rolling (without audio) as soon as you scroll over them. And the feature may even have played a key role in helping a certain hashtag charity raise awareness using buckets and ice.
Now, Facebook gives us a glimpse at how its video strategy is doing… and it appears to be growing big. Fast. Per a Facebook blog post, from May through June, video views grew 50%. Since June, there have been an average of 1 billion video views on Facebook every day, with more than 65% of users watching through mobile.
For the unfamiliar, Facebook videos are a bit different from YouTube or Vimeo. When you scroll through your news feed, they automatically start playing but without sound. Marketers and other dubious attention-seekers love it because moving images seem to snag eyeballs, faster. And if you play a bunch of Facebook videos, the algorithm will likely feed you more of them to watch at the top of your feed.
Now, a billion daily views is still small pickings compared to YouTube, which hit 4 billion daily views in 2012 (it hasn’t updated this statistic since). But Facebook’s statistics seem to imply an advantage on Facebook’s end: As a latecomer, the social network has the luxury of building its video platform for mobile-first, while YouTube is saddled with the challenge of trying to migrate its customers over from the web.