How uploading a video to Facebook is different from linking from YouTube.

Auto-play and improved engagement on social media mean a native Facebook upload is almost always a better choice.

If you use Facebook at all, you’ve probably noticed that posts with visuals are at least as common as text-only posts. That’s because Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images. Simultaneously, we know that videos on YouTube are a powerful SEO tool since Google owns YouTube and favors videos in search results. How are you supposed to know which platform to use when sharing videos?

Since it started in 2005 and was acquired by Google a year later, YouTube has been one of the most popular and well-known places to post your videos. In addition to the SEO benefits, it is free and easy to use and offers good analytics tracking. But for pure online engagement, Facebook has taken the lead and now offers a full list of metrics that track video engagement and reach.

Key differences between a video uploaded to Facebook and one linked from YouTube.

Video uploaded natively on Facebook.

Video uploaded natively on Facebook.

Video linked from YouTube

Video linked from YouTube

There are huge differences between how Facebook displays and plays videos that are uploaded natively vs. ones that are linked from YouTube. They include:

  1. Facebook treats YouTube links like any other link, showing a small thumbnail image, the video title, and the first line or two of the description. Natively uploaded video is featured at the full width of the feed, making it more noticeable and “real.”
  2. Natively uploaded videos autoplay directly in Facebook, while a linked YouTube video requires a click. Autoplay is key in creating quick brand awareness with videos that might otherwise not be clicked on.
  3. Natively uploaded videos keep a user on Facebook rather than redirecting the user to another page to watch the video. It makes the video more likely to be watched, liked, shared and commented on.


Are you saying to not use YouTube? NO! We’re saying use BOTH.

A well optimized YouTube channel with quality videos and proper descriptions is still a good investment of your time. YouTube uploaded videos have good longevity (they are less likely to fade away in your feed), and embedding a YouTube hosted video on your website is a snap.

But if you want to engage viewers on Facebook, natively upload to Facebook. Don’t link from YouTube and expect the results to be the same.

For helpful DIY information on how to add your videos to Facebook visit here. Or, our experts can properly optimize your video platform for SEO and social media engagement.

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