With the increasing shift towards video content, Facebook has been locking horns with YouTube, which has been thriving on a market worth $200-$400 billion.
In the first quarter of 2015 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the social network is now serving more than 4 billion video views a day. That was up a cool billion from January and quadrupled the daily views reported in September. Over the first half of 2015, Facebook has worked on quite a few innovative ideas to make its video offering strong so that it can get attention from brands and content creators.
However, Facebook videos has been questioned time and often for the way it calculates the views and also Facebook’s’ biggest problem - freebooting. Copyright credit to creators or freebooting is the act of downloading someone else’s copy-righted material, often from YouTube, and uploading it into Facebook’s native video player.
“As a platform, it’s not evolved yet, and comes with its own set of woes of poor video management interface, to even copyright credit to the creators. Users can simply download the content and repost it as their own,” Satyen Poojary, brand manager at PowerDrift informed Lighthouse Insights while stressing that freebooting is one of the reason why the team is not considering Facebook for hosting videos.
Facebook understands that this is a big problem, one that it will have to solve as it can’t offend content creators who are hooked on YouTube. In a recent blog post, Facebook states that it has been building a new “video matching technology” beyond the existing system, intended to curb freebooting.
“Videos uploaded to Facebook are run through the Audible Magic system, which uses audio fingerprinting technology to help identify and prevent unauthorized videos from making their way onto the platform. We have reporting tools that enable content owners to tell us when someone has uploaded their video without permission, and we promptly remove those videos in response to valid reports. And our IP policies ensure that people that repeatedly post content without permission are held responsible for their actions.”
However, the existing Audible Magic system was recently questioned by YouTube star Hank Green in a post titled, “Theft, lies, and Facebook Video” that not only brought forth the Facebook way of calculating video views but also the freebooting problem. “When embedding a YouTube video on your company’s Facebook page is a sure way to see it die a sudden death, we shouldn’t be surprised when they rip it off YouTube and upload it natively,” Hank wrote. “Facebook’s algorithms encourage this theft.”
A recent report from ad agency Ogilvy and Tubular Labs found that 725 of the 1,000 most popular Facebook videos in the first quarter were re-uploads of content from other sources. The most-viewed such video raked in 72 million views, while all 725 re-uploaded videos hit a grand total of 17 billion views.
The video matching technology that is open to few creators as of now will allow these creators to identify matches of their videos on Facebook across Pages, profiles, groups, and geographies. “Our matching tool will evaluate millions of video uploads quickly and accurately, and when matches are surfaced, publishers will be able to report them to us for removal.”
The freeboot detecting feature is still in its beta phase and it’s being tested with a small group right now, including video creators and media companies. In the future, Facebook plans to roll out a more comprehensive system for users to manage their videos.
YouTube had to face such issues in the past and it has long dealt with stolen content via Content ID, a software that monitors all uploads against a database of registered intellectual property and will either remove the content or let the original creator collect ad dollars from it.
Good news for content creators, but it isn’t going to be implemented over the fortnight.