Facebook’s latest News Feed update could show you longer videos

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Facebook is further honing in on your video-viewing habits as part of its latest News Feed algorithm update.

On Thursday, the social network announced it is changing the way it ranks longer videos in News Feed based on “percent completion” — one of the numerous signals Facebook uses to surface videos catered to you. What this essentially means is that Facebook will take into account how long you watch a video (especially if its duration is longer) in order to serve you similar content. Other signals Facebook utilizes include whether you watch a clip with the sound on or off, in HD, and in full screen.

If you happen to be someone who sits through the majority or all of a video, you can rest assured you’ll see more videos of a similar duration on the News Feed. Your commitment to a longer video indicates to Facebook that the content in question is engaging, and it therefore uses that signal to prioritize the clip in terms of News Feed distribution.

Chances are this change won’t affect you if you steer clear of visual content altogether or only engage with it briefly. However, the change could result in Pages creating longer videos in order to benefit from the update. Facebook claims that alongside the bump for longer clips, shorter videos may see a slight dip in distribution.

The company warns that compelling content is not determined by its duration, and instead relies on the story it tells. It also advises Page admins to look at video insights in order to examine the impact of a clip’s performance.

With Facebook previously touting that it is gearing up for a video-centric future, and rumors circulating that it is looking to procure original programming, longer videos will likely make up a big part of its strategy going forward.

The News Feed update will roll out over the next few weeks.


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