Facebook has been heavily promoting its Live Videos feature since making it available to general users alongside celebrities in December.
Now that the live streaming functionality is available on both iOS and Android, the social network is updating its news feed (the timeline of status updates you see when you log in) to display Live Videos above older clips.
Facebook will be hoping this encourages more people to use the feature, which already faces stiff competition from the Twitter-owned app Periscope. The viewing numbers for Live Videos, on the other hand, are already promising.
Earlier this week, when Facebook introduced the feature for Android, it stated that on average people watch a video three times longer when it is live compared to when it is not live. The higher engagement rate was likely the catalyst for the update. As Facebook puts it, live streams are “more interesting in the moment than after the fact.”
This isn’t the first time Facebook has rejigged its News Feed algorithm around video clips. In 2014, Facebook made an update that moved videos that had higher viewership figures to the top of timelines. The social network also takes into account the likes, shares, and comments on a clip in order to ascertain its placement on the News Feed. Additionally, last year, its algorithm began showing users similar videos based on clips they had watched in the past. It also monitors a viewer’s interaction with a clip, including the muting of sound, whether HD capability has been turned on, and if the video is watched in full screen in order to suggest more content.
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