Facebook has long been trying to catch up YouTube as a source for videos, but it’s faced one big problem: you could only see videos shared on your News Feed or individual pages.
The company is now changing that by finally implementing video search, a small but important addition that will change the way people use Facebook.
It’s what you’d expect: look up a video by entering a few keywords, just like you’ve been used to all these years. Search encompasses both pre-recorded video and live video, and will be available on a new video tab on the mobile apps.
That said, many videos aren’t tagged very extensively, and Facebook doesn’t appear to offer any search filters, so don’t expect it to fully take on YouTube just yet.
Another bit of news Facebook is now supplementing trending topics with relevant livestreams. It even includes a little red indicator to suggest when there is ongoing footage for a current topic.
It’s a little curious that this feature didn’t arrive with yesterday’s big update to Live videos, but perhaps the company just wanted to spread the news out a bit.
The updates comes on the heels of a report from The Information suggesting people are sharing roughly 15 percent less original content than last year; Facebook is looking to stem that decline by making it easier to find original content.
Previously, there was pretty much no way of finding the latest viral video if you didn’t remember what page or friend shared it, so you’d resort to looking it up on YouTube instead.
With search, you’ll have one reason less to leave the social network – and that’s exactly what Facebook wants.