Facebook: Freebooting and Video Analytics

This video was making the rounds this week on various social platforms. It talks about Facebook, people circulating videos they take from YouTube, and Facebook taking the revenue and page-views from YouTube and more importantly, the content creators. Learn about freebooting here:

There have been a few different news stories refuting Facebook’s 8 billion view claim. The Register talks about freebooting and Facebook’s lack of efforts to curtain it.  This story in AdWeek talks about the effects freebooting has on content creators.

It’s easy to understand why people freeboot content into Facebook. Facebook has giant reach, engaged visitors, and they make it super easy to do so. The challenge for Facebook is that they need to develop a way for content creators to be correctly credited and compensated, and not let various Facebook accounts, like TV and radio station brand pages, who are only trolling for views, to get the credit and, often, the compensation they deserve. Facebook has done some work on this, but not enough and quickly enough.

My biggest gripe with Facebook and it’s video sharing is that the analytics it reports when it comes to views is just plain off. Auto-playing a video for a few seconds on mute should not count as a full view.

When classes started this past semester, I shot a 30-second video of our students and faculty entering the convocation ceremony. Facebook reported that this video had 15,001 views.

Great, right? Wow!

Well, not really. Only 3,297 made it to all 30 seconds. That’s a pretty big gap for a 30 second video.

Look at this chart of time:

Screenshot 2015-11-13 10.54.14

I don’t know how accurate YouTube’s views are, but for the most part, Facebook’s seem to be  disingenuous.