WHILE Facebook’s new auto video playing feature has been mostly well received, especially by those who don’t mind heavily-subtitled videos of cooking hacks or Donald Trump roasts (NOT a cooking video), YouTubers JinnyBoyTV aren’t very happy with it.
And it’s not just ‘cos they’re #TeamYouTube – it’s because their work is getting ripped off.
Let’s back it up a little. In 2014, Facebook introduced a new feature that made videos play automatically when users scrolled past them on their news feeds.
By April 2015, Facebook videos were being viewed over over four billion times a day. By Sept 2015, that number had doubled.
The Couch with JinnyBoyTV: Ep. 1
It sounds more like a great opportunity for video creators like JinnyBoyTV, who have carved out a huge online audience with their short films. So why aren’t they happy with it?
For starters, there’s the practice people are now calling “freebooting”. That’s when someone rips your video, uploads it to Facebook as his/her own and gets all the views, personal brand exposure or, worse still, the credit.
“It’s quite sad,” said Jin Lim, the founder of JinnyBoyTV. “We produced a video for Samsung recently and it was doing quite well on our channel. It had like 400,000 views or something.
“Then this Facebook page from Thailand took our video, uploaded it to Facebook and now it has like 11 million views.”
What’s even more annoying for Jin is when some of these pages cut out their credits and logos from the videos. “Some even put their own watermark on the videos!”
The guys says it’s now an “on-going process” of getting freebooters to remove their videos.
But by the time they do that, the video would probably have lost most of its “virality”.
As YouTuber Destin Sandlin (the guy behind Smarter Every Day, which produces educational videos) said to Slate.com on the same issue, one or two days is “basically forever in Internet time”.
The same thing has been happening to Sandlin, according to the same story on Slate.
His video Tattoo Close Up (In Slow Motion) was a huge hit, getting over 36 million views on YouTube since it was uploaded in Sept 2014.
Freebooters who uploaded it on Facebook, on the other hand, got over 18 million views for themselves in the first two days alone. FYI, even if someone watches just three seconds of a video, Facebook clocks it down as a “view”.
Destin Sandlin’s “Tattoo Close Up (In Slow Motion)
Facebook has issued statements saying they are coming up with solutions to combat such intellectual property infringements, but it has been over a year since they made their big push for video.
If one or two days is forever on the Internet, then a year must feel like an eternity for people like Jin and Reuben.
For now, JinnyBoyTV will only post short trailers on their Facebook page that will direct people to their YouTube channel for the full video, something like this:
When your crush says these words to you.Full Video Here: https://youtu.be/VWcZVyCVvKo
Posted by JinnyboyTV on Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Funnily enough, JinnyBoyTV does not “boost” (paying to get your content pushed to viewers) its content on YouTube. It only does that on Facebook.
“The views we get on YouTube are organic,” said Reuben Kang, the other half of JinnyBoyTV. “But on Facebook, what we’ve learnt is that in order to reach your fanbase, you have to boost your posts.
“That’s just how Facebook works. Back in the day, when My Generasi first went viral, I could see hundreds of people sharing (the YouTube video) on my timeline. Today, even if they share it, we won’t see it as often.”
“It’s Facebook’s algorithm,” added Jin. “YouTube links don’t appear as much on Facebook anymore. We just have to learn to overcome it and come up with a strategy to get our videos out.
“Since Facebook is pushing their native videos a lot, we now just upload snippets of our films on Facebook and put a link with it to watch the full video.”