Facebook videos are a big business. According to their latest statistics, people view videos on the social networking site up to eight billion times a day. But now, a new video calls out Facebook for being dishonest about these numbers—as well as model/actor/singer Tyrese Gibson for being a remorseless thief of viral videos. Huh?
According to Business Insider, accusing Gibson of taking videos from YouTube to line his pockets isn’t as ridiculous a claim as it sounds. The star, already successful, is allegedly padding that success by taking videos from YouTube, putting them up on Facebook, and then attaching a link to buy his music. Because the videos have already gone viral on YouTube and are sure to be successes, Gibson (or, more likely, his social media team) lure in users with videos of babies and hedgehogs and then advertise his music to millions of people for free—while not giving the people who actually made the videos any exposure or associated ad revenue.
Here’s the video that explains everything (with penguins):
Additionally, TechCrunch (and the Kurzgesagt video above) reports that one of the ways Facebook has been fluffing their numbers is by counting a view after three seconds, even if the video is muted. And since many videos play automatically, just scrolling through your feed at a relaxed pace could register you as a viewer whether you watched a video of baby bears wrecking a kiddy pool to the end or not. (You should, though.)
Even at just 3 seconds per view, Facebook is generating 760 years of watch time each day. That means there’s a ton of space for Facebook to lure in TV commercial dollars that are shifting to digital. It also has an opportunity to grow viewership further with an ongoing test where it pays a revenue share to top video crators.
And that’s where Gibson comes in. His page consistently goes viral: In July, Mashable reported that the star of Annapolis came in fifth when posts were measured by how much they were shared. That’s 2.6 million shared posts, many of them videos taken directly from YouTube.
Facebook says they’re working on cracking down on Freebooting—what YouTube video theft is called—but Gibson’s reportedly already gotten hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of advertising for free.
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