Anyone with a smartphone and a stable WiFi connection can stream anytime, anywhere. But the question is: Which platform should you stream on? There are many live streaming platforms, but each one has its own pros and cons. Let’s take a look at YouTube Live and Facebook Live. They’re both awesome streaming platforms, but they’re not exactly the same.

In this live streaming guide, we pitted YouTube and Facebook against each other in a mano-a-mano battle. At the end of this article, you should be able to decide if you’re going to use YouTube or Facebook for your next live broadcast.

Facebook Live Stream: Pros and Cons

Facebook has grown larger than life since it was first launched in 2004. With approximately 2.8 billion monthly active users (as of the fourth quarter of 2020), Facebook is, without a doubt, the biggest social media platform worldwide. In August 2015, it offered live streaming services to some high-profile users. By April 2016, Facebook gave everyone the ability to go live.

Facebook Live lets you engage with your audience without the barrier of geographical constraints through live events. Facebook live streams are becoming more popular with each passing year and are likely to get more clicks, shares, likes, and comments in the coming years.

Facebook Live is an amazing platform for driving more traffic to your stream and maximizing your reach. But, just like any other streaming platform, it’s not perfect. In this Facebook Live review, we’ll take a look at some of the platform’s advantages and disadvantages.

Pros

  • Free and easy to use. FB Live is so easy to use. You just need a smartphone and WiFi to start live streaming for free. You don’t have to pay anything to broadcast your live events.
  • More brand engagement. The longer you stream, the more likely people will see and share your live video, increasing your reach and visibility. Fortunately, Facebook allows eight hours of streaming on desktop and four hours on mobile. It’s an opportunity to establish engagement with your viewers while humanizing your brand. As a result, you get increased brand awareness.
  • Various monetization methods. Facebook lets you monetize your live video in several ways. You can ask for fan donations in the form of stars. One star is worth $0.01. You can also enable fan subscriptions or add in-stream ads. You get to set your subscription price. But once you launch your subscription, you can no longer change it. You must also meet certain eligibility criteria to qualify for this feature.
  • Facebook videos are forever. Once your live video ends, it will remain on your Facebook feed as a regular video. It will still get views and generate more revenue. You can also repurpose it for your online marketing campaigns to boost engagement.

Cons

  • Technical issues. Just like any other streaming platform, Facebook is not immune to technical glitches. Expect the occasional tech issues, such as blurry videos, lagging, and warped sounds.
  • Strict rules. Facebook Live has very strict streaming policies. For example, you can’t stream a pre-recorded video without adding a disclaimer. If you continually violate their policies, you can lose your live streaming privileges.
  • Lacks searchability and SEO rankings. Unlike YouTube, Facebook videos (live and archived) don’t rank on search engines. This means users can’t search them organically. Users need to search within Facebook itself to find the content, but even that isn’t easy because of its timeline design.
  • Accessibility. Facebook is banned in China and Iran. It’s also mostly blocked in schools and businesses.

YouTube Live Stream: Pros and Cons

YouTube Live is a streaming service that lets you reach and connect with your audience in real time. Whether you’re hosting a live interview, teaching a class, or streaming a game, YouTube Live helps you manage your stream and interact with your viewers.

With over 2 billion monthly active users, no one can deny that it’s an amazing platform for extending your reach. It’s also worth mentioning that YouTube is not just any website. It’s a search engine in its own right. In fact, it’s the second-largest search engine after Google.

When it comes to functionality, it has more to offer than Facebook Live. For example, YouTube Live settings are less limiting. You have the option to choose between a wide range of bitrates and resolutions. On Facebook, you can’t go higher than 720p, which is decent video quality but not the best.

In this YouTube Live review, we’ll go through some of the pros and cons of YouTube Live and how it compares to Facebook Live.

Pros

  • Searchability and video SEO. YouTube videos are searchable on search results. And since YouTube is Google-owned, its videos rank relatively high. Both YouTube and Facebook videos are available forever, but YouTube’s search functionality is more powerful than Facebook’s.
  • Longer maximum video length. While you only get nine hours of maximum video streaming length on Facebook, YouTube lets you stream up to 12 hours.
  • Various monetization methods. You can monetize your YouTube videos in several ways. The easiest ways are to get sponsorships, play ads, and ask for fan donations. You can also use the pay-per-view (PPV) method or offer channel memberships.

Cons

  • Not as easy to get started. YouTube offers more functionality than Facebook, but it’s harder to get started. First, you need a YouTube account. Second, you need to get your account verified, which can take up to 24 hours. You also need at least 1,000 subscribers to live stream on your phone.
  • Strict monetization qualifications. YouTube offers several ways to monetize your live video, but it has very strict qualifications and policies.
  • You lose control over your live video. You keep ownership of your content when you stream a video on YouTube, but you’re giving it license to use your material in their own advertising. In a sense, you lose some control over your content.
  • Accessibility. While YouTube is the second largest search engine, it’s also one of the most blocked sites worldwide, especially in schools and businesses. Access to all or some content is also blocked in certain countries.

YouTube Live vs. Facebook Live: Make Your Choice

Facebook and YouTube offer amazing live streaming services. But just like any other streaming platform, they’re not perfect. They come with their own pros and cons. When choosing between the two of them, carefully consider your streaming needs.

Is video quality your top priority? How do you want to monetize your video? Who is your target audience? These are just some of the important questions you need to answer before making your final choice.

We hope our YouTube vs. Facebook guide helped you decide which platform to use for your live broadcasts. Good luck and keep streaming.