Is Facebook Video the New Platform for Climate Change Discussion?

Is Facebook Video the New Platform for Climate Change Discussion?

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Recently, an old acquaintance of mine wrote an opinion piece in The Boston Globe on climate change, with the assertion that “global warming is not a future threat — it’s the present reality, a menace not to our grandchildren but to our present civilizations”.

Video creators are also joining the discussion around climate change, highlighting the issue and its consequences to viewers around the world. According to Tubular, 41,500 creators have made 596 million videos about climate change. And these videos have 596 million views and 21 million engagements, giving them an average of 6,373 views per video and an engagement rate of 3.5%. And it’s Facebook Video and YouTube that are driving most of those views.

Climate Change: The Most Viewed Videos

The video about climate change with the most views is “This is how to charge your phone with a mud oven.”Uploaded by BBC World Service on Nov. 25, 2015, this Facebook video has over 21 million views and 327K engagements.

According to Tubular, native videos uploaded to Facebook around the topic of climate change have generated nearly 460M views, with an average of 82K views per video.

facebook climate change
Most Viewed Videos relating to “Climate Change” on Facebook – data via Tubular Labs

The most-viewed YouTube video about climate change is “Climate Change Debate (HBO).” Uploaded by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on May 11, 2014, this video now has over 6 million views and 270K engagements.

The most-viewed video on Instagram about climate change is “Earth Day Video of the Day!”. Uploaded by GoPro on April 22, 2015, this Instavid has 689K views and 229K engagements. Finally, the most-viewed video on Vine about climate change is “Due to nuclear concerns & climate change, scientists moved the minute hand of the #DoomsdayClock forward for the first time in three years.” Uploaded by Mashable on Jan. 22, 2015, this Vine has 683K views and 4K engagements.

YouTube Encourages Discussion Around Climate Change

In November 2015, the Official YouTube Blog encouraged the YouTube community to join the discussion by uploading their own videos about climate change using the hashtag: #OursToLose. With the help of some top YouTube creators from around the world, the site created #OursToLose: Climate Change Affects the Things We Love. Uploaded Nov. 23, 2015, this video generated 3.2 million views.

What kind of results did the campaign generate? According to Tubular, there are a total of 107 videos by 92 different creators with #OurToLose in the title or description. These videos have a total of 4.1 million views and 171K engagements, which is an average of 37,900 views per video and an engagement rate of 4.2%. And it’s worth noting that creators uploaded videos to Instagram and Facebook as well as YouTube.

The YouTube video with the most views is “Climate Change: The View From MinuteEarth | #OursToLose.” Uploaded by MinuteEarth on Nov. 23, 2015, the video now has 353,000 views and 19K engagements. The most viewed video on Instagram is “Without tea, we’d have nothing to dunk biscuits in #OursToLose #ClimateChange #COP21”. Uploaded by YouTube – yes, YouTube – on Nov. 28, 2015, this Instavid has 92,400 views and 30,800 engagements. The most viewed video in Facebook is “#OursToLose: Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg to support a #go100percent world.” Uploaded by Solar Impulse on Nov. 27, 2105, this Facebook video now has 14,300 views and 363 engagements.

By the way, all of these numbers are very conservative – because they are narrowly focused on videos about “climate change” or “#OursToLose”. According to Tubular, there are another 56K videos from 34,600 creators about “global warming.” These videos have 667 million views and 16.5 million engagements, for an average of 11,900 views per video and an engagement rate of 2.4%. So, whatever you call the issue, this is what every presidential debate should be focused on – it we weren’t distracted by absurd third grade theatrics.


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