Facebook is turning into a full-fledged media company as it tries to compete with other video streaming services like YouTube and Netflix. Companies are pouring millions into online video production services, usually in the form of easily digestible, short clips that appear on a user’s News Feed. When it comes to posting videos on social apps like Facebook, shorter videos are usually better because users tend to have a short attention span. However, Facebook’s new video algorithm is changing the way we think about online video content. If you’re in the business of posting videos on Facebook, take a moment to learn about what these changes mean for the way users experience your content.
It’s All About the Completion Rate
The new Facebook video algorithm is designed to promote the videos that are most popular with users. The algorithm monitors and rates videos based on how long users are tuning in, otherwise known as the completion rate. If you upload a video and users are tuning out after the one-minute mark, your video will rank higher in the news feed than if your users are tuning out after just 30 seconds. But shorter videos no longer have the market on shareability. Early in 2017, Facebook tweaked its video algorithm so that longer videos don’t fall by the wayside. The completion rate is now adjusted based on the length of the video. For example, if a user watches seven minutes of a ten-minute video, that video is going to get a bump as opposed to a three-minute video with users only tuning in for only about 90 seconds.
Longer Videos Are Getting a Bump
Overall, this means that longer videos are getting a bump in users’ News Feeds. Before, Facebook punished filmmakers and companies that published longer videos if users were only turning in for a small percentage of the total video. Now, longer videos will get to compete with short-form content. Short 60-second videos won’t disappear entirely, but Facebook is determined to make room for longer pieces, even if the user doesn’t watch the video all the way through to the end.
Facebook Wants to Replace Your TV
You might be asking yourself, why is Facebook making all of these changes? The answer is that while Facebook wants users to engage with content that they actually enjoy, Facebook also wants to attract top-tier talent. Facebook is dying to be the Amazon of the video community, so they’re casting a wide net. There are plenty of places online like Instagram and Snapchat where users can get their fill of 30-second clips, but Facebook wants users to engage with content for longer periods of time. So even if a video is over the ten-minute mark, that video will rank higher in the News Feed if people are tuning in for a sizeable period of time.
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