Facebook has announced new tools offering more customisation on videos distributed on the platform. It brings their features more in line with that of YouTube’s, and gets them one step closer to matching the popularity of the internet’s video veteran.
In a blog post yesterday, Facebook announced the ability to publish Secret Videos which mirrors YouTube’s “unlisted” function. Videos categorised as such can only be viewed by people with a link, and won’t appear on the publisher’s timeline, nor can they be embedded externally.
The changes also see the introduction of a Video Library that gives publishers the ability to organise their archive, and allows them to edit a video’s metadata even after it’s been uploaded.
There are options to manage distribution methods, including preventing third-party embeds.
And, lastly, they’ve added the ability to insert watermarks into videos.
Facebook is pulling no punches in its battle with Google’s YouTube, and is clearly the fiercest competitor that company has ever faced.
But even with these additions Facebook video still isn’t great, and there are some annoyances still waiting to be resolved.
- There’s a size limit on the files that can be uploaded which can effect the resolution and length of content.
- The News Feed is designed for scrolling, which makes it a great place for discovery, but a poor environment for consumption.
- And, searching for videos you’ve scrolled past can be a pain if you don’t remember the publisher, as Facebook’s categorising and search ability is inferior to that of YouTube’s
The social network is sure to resolve these problems soon, as it’s been adding features to its video platform at break-neck speed to catch up with YouTube (it’s currently testing floating videos).
But for now, YouTube still has a place in most people’s online lives.