This article was published on January 26, 2017

Facebook announces News Feed change to surface more relevant videos

Facebook announces News Feed change to surface more relevant videos
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

Facebook today announced a few changes to the way it handles video on your News Feed.

In the past, video was ranked based on a few actions, like whether a video was live, if people bothered to turn on sound, or if you decided to open it to a full screen view.

Today’s announcement adds another metric, ‘percent completion,’ to determine how to rank video and determine what’s worth inserting into your News Feed. Percent completion is exactly what it sounds like, the amount of time you watch each video before shutting it off and scrolling to the next item. The longer you watch, it stands to reason, the more compelling the content is, and thus the more it should appear in the News Feed of others.

As for longer videos, the metric makes sense as it takes into account that sometimes life gets in the way of that 10 minute clip from ‘Last Week Tonight.’ If you’d watched six minutes before clicking away, the approach would still score the experience more favorably than watching 10 seconds of a 90 second video, for example.

And for the important question, how will this impact your Facebook Page? It remains to be seen, but Facebook expects that most Pages won’t notice a significant change.

While we expect that most Pages will not see significant changes in distribution as a result of this update, longer videos that people spend time watching may see a slight increase in distribution on Facebook — so people who find longer videos engaging may be able to discover more of them in News Feed. As a side effect, some shorter videos may see a slight dip in News Feed distribution.

Not all users will notice the change immediately, although it did begin its roll out today. Over time, the feature will be monitored, and rolled out to more users.

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