Mark Zuckerberg recently revealed that Facebook is now generating 8 billion videos views a day from only 500 million people, and if you are proficient with numbers, you will notice that these figures don’t quite stack up. Most people scroll down their Facebook timeline with the mute button on their device while navigating away from auto-playing videos and are blissfully unaware that after only 3 seconds this is classed as a view and allows advertising income to be gained from the video.
Over on YouTube, a video has to be playing for 30 seconds for the view count to be recorded. Many are starting to notice that there is a billion dollar industry emerging known as “freebooting” where people can steal YouTube content and promote via Facebook creating unreal view counts and forced virility as Facebook videos are automatically prioritised over YouTube videos.
However, a video is currently going viral and receiving widespread support after pointing out the struggles for content creators suggesting that Facebook is purposely “rigging” their algorithm for their own personal gain.
Very often the original creator of video content will obtain a few views from their own YouTube channel whereas the video can achieve millions of views on Facebook, which generates advertising income for the social media behemoth rather than the content creator(s) who rely on revenue for advertisements.
Primarily the content creators are not receiving money or recognition from these videos whereas Facebook and the video stealing accomplice receive the returns.
YouTube’s copyright infringement system seems to be quite stringent by comparison, and it seems clear that Facebook’s is turning a blind eye to protect their cash cow while the video stealer appears to get away with a lucrative swag bag every time with no threat or fear of any consequences.
Although, stories such as this are usually brushed under the carpet relatively quickly, it’s somewhat refreshing for a video to go viral for the right reasons and educating users on some of the practices that will hopefully force changes to the current system that is clearly unfair to those creating content.
It’s important to remember that this isn’t just a story of heavyweights Facebook and Google ripping each other off, its the person creating the viral content that is not getting paid. By offering little or no protection for it’s creators, it’s difficult to see how they can ever be a trusted platform for creators that they frequently announce they want to be.
The average user probably doesn’t even care where a video originates from when they hit like or share, but I cannot help but think this is exactly what they want. As long as we keep scrolling by without a care in the world for copyright infringement we will continue to see headlines such as $8 billion videos a day while the usual suspects make an enormous amount of money of the backs of others.
There is always two sides to every story, and Facebook has advised they take “Freebooting” very seriously, but they are not doing themselves any favours by leaving the video on their site until the views start to drop a few days later before any action is taken.
This is an intriguing modern tale for the digital age that offers more than a few lessons in morality and the truth, as they say, will always out. The next time you read one of those headlines stating inflated video viewing figures of 8 billion a day, maybe we should all start to look a little closer behind the curtains as Mark Zuckerberg exits stage left to determine who is and who isn’t getting paid based on these so-called facts.