Social Scanner: Facebook surpasses YouTube in desktop views

Facebook has passed a major landmark in its quest to become the dominant video player on the social web. For the first time ever, desktop video plays on the social media site outnumbered those on YouTube in the U.S. during the month of August.

In fact, according to comScore co-founder Gian Fulgoni, Facebook outpaced YouTube by a billion views. That’s a major feat considering Facebook has been pushing video for just a year.

However, the massive number of video views on Facebook need to be taken in context. Since late in 2013, autoplay videos have been populating the the Facebook newsfeed, meaning plenty of those “views” account for a slow scroll, not an engaged consumer.

“While there’ s reach advantage for auto-play, there’s an issue as to whether you’re getting good engagement,” Fulgoni explained to Beet.tv. “You’re getting good engagement from user-initiated (video on YouTube) by definition. If you figure how to create the video so it grabs people’s attention, you may have the benefits of high reach as well as engagement.”

The way the two companies have approached video ads are remarkably different. While Facebook’s video ads are autoplay, YouTube has offered an array of options, from skippable ads to homepage takeovers.

Whisper may be collecting and sharing user data, location

The anonymous app Whisper, which allows users to share content without revealing their identity, is in the midst of a major PR nightmare, thanks to a new report from The Guardian that claims the site is tracking the location of its users – even the ones who opt out of sharing their geo-location.

Worse, the paper claims Whisper is sharing information with the U.S. Department of Defense, which goes against its basic mandate of providing anonymity to its users. However, the app’s editor-in-chief, Neetzan Zimmerman, has refuted the story’s claims, calling it “a pack of vicious lies.”

After the story was published Thursday, Zimmerman tweeted, “The Guardian’s piece is lousy with falsehoods, and we will be debunking them all.” And, “The Guardian made a mistake posting that story and they will regret it.”

Skype launches a Snapchat clone

Microsoft is the latest company to launch an ephemeral messaging app. On Tuesday the company launched Skype Qik, a standalone app that will be separate from Skype. Like Snapchat, the app will allow users to send each other “disappearing” video messages (even if that didn’t work out so well for Snapchat). Videos can be up to 42-seconds long – a playful nod to the book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that says the meaning of life is “42.” 

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The Numbers

As we’ve seen in Canada this week, sports and social make for a powerful mix. In the U.S., the IMG sports marketing consultancy Catalyst crunched the numbers in a new report that shows how sports fans use social. Take a look.

75

Percentage of sports fans who use Facebook to talk about sports

37

Percentage, by comparison, of sports fans who use Twitter to talk about sports

80

Percentage of sports fans who are willing to engage with a brand on social, beyond simply ‘liking” them

77

Percentage of sports fans who engage with posts that focus on post-game excitement

73

Percentage, by comparison, of sports fans who engage with posts that focus on pre-game excitement

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