Did OK Go Just Signal Facebook's Takeover Of YouTube?

12 February 2016, 15:34 | Updated: 17 July 2017, 12:13

We the Unicorns

By Liam Dryden

OK Go debut their gravity-defying video for "Upside Down & Inside Out" on Facebook - are YouTube's days numbered as the home of the viral video?

Yesterday we brought you the epic, literal gravity-defying music video for "Upside Down & Inside Out" from viral video masters OK Go. Now that we've reminded you of this, we'll forgive you if you stop reading to go back and watch it again, it's kind of completely awesome.

And apparently a large chunk of the internet agrees, as within a day the video has already received over 25 million views on its original upload at OK Go's Facebook page.

Hang on... Facebook?

Yep. OK Go, known for their viral music video masterpieces, gave YouTube a cheeky snub in debuting their latest release - instead posting a short clip on their channel to announce the video's premiere, with a link to Facebook. And while fans and YouTube purists may protest, and while we have a lot to say about the wild badlands that is Facebook Video in its infancy, it's hard to argue with the fact that this was an incredibly clever move on the part of the band.

Firstly, debuting the video on Facebook equals a crushing defeat of freebooting. Had OK Go uploaded "Upside Down & Inside Out" to YouTube, and it started to gain as much traction there; we can almost guarantee that hours later, a Facebook version uploaded by a freebooter would have three times the views. Because, honestly, freebooters suck and most Facebook users don't know any better. Uploading natively to Facebook themselves means that OK Go have cut out the thieving middleman and now have 25 million sweet, sweet views on their content, as well as proportionate ad revenue; all of which rightfully belongs to them, instead of someone like SoFLoAntonio.

And, as awesome as the video is, that number of views wouldn't be nearly as high had the video appeared on YouTube - because the nature of social sharing has changed so dramatically since the days of the band's first viral success. On your Facebook feed, native videos automatically begin playing at watchable size; while posting YouTube videos results in a much less obvious-looking link:

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 14.51.29

Videos depend on shareability across different platforms to thrive; but when social media sites start to phase each other out in favour of their own versions, the smart thing is definitely to adapt.

But what does this mean for OK Go's relationship with YouTube - the platform on which their iconic video for "Here It Goes Again" earned them both their first Grammy and a long-lasting reputation as creative geniuses?

More to the point, what does it mean for YouTube's dynasty of being the go-to platform for viral videos? As YouTube evolves to cater more to its bigger creators and content, especially with initiatives like YouTube Red, is it ready to relinquish its viral video crown to Facebook? And most importantly, could this be the key that finally legitimises Facebook Video as its own platform?

All we know for certain is that OK Go's videos are awesome, and we'll be first in line to watch them no matter what platform they're on. Here is "Upside Down & Inside Out" again; just because you need it.