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Facebook Reaches 100 Million Hours of Daily Video Viewing

Milestone puts Facebook at about half the hours that YouTube was pulling in more than two years ago

Facebook’s visitors are watching more than 100 hours of video there every day, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday, shifting how the company reports its video growth as it continues to hammer at rival YouTube.

The world’s biggest social network has been aggressively campaigning to boost its users’ video consumption, directly competing with Google’s YouTube for eyeballs, advertisers and content. Through moves like peppering your News Feed with more clips and having them play automatically as you scroll past them, Facebook has quickly ramped up how much people watch there.

But those strategies caused some to grumble about Facebook’s metrics: total views counted any playback longer than three seconds, regardless of whether the user even turned on the sound. Critics complained that autoplayed, silent, three-second viewing isn’t a meaningful gauge of how much people actually meant to watch a given clip.

Wednesday’s 100 million daily hours measurement is more in line with how YouTube previously reported its own viewing.

In May 2013, YouTube reported that its visitors watched more than 6 billion hours of video a month, or roughly 200 million hours a day. Since Facebook has been shoring up video on its network, YouTube has switched to more general statements about the “hundreds of millions of hours” watched by users on the site, a number it says has continually grown.

For the record: A previous version of this story included an incorrect date for YouTube’s 6 billion hours figure.