Published: Sat, December 16, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

Facebook changes news feed to boost videos

Facebook changes news feed to boost videos

Facebook will begin to promote videos more prominently inside its News Feed, leveraging the social network's centrepiece product to build interest in episodic shows and compete more directly with YouTube. The Discover tab in Watch will also prioritise shows that people come back to. Facebook will also prioritize showing other videos from the same pages that users deliberately navigate to.

A complex ranking system determines which posts people see first, and previous year, Facebook released a statement of "News Feed values" emphasising that posts from friends and family would come first. Creators that put out regular content will now rank better in the news feed. The company has assured users that they won't be seeing these ads in their News Feeds, lamenting that such a location doesn't "work well" for those kinds of adds. It is also now easier for show creators to reach existing viewers by distributing new episodes directly to followers if their Show Page is linked to their existing Page.

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For years, CEO Mark Zuckerberg even banned "pre-roll" from Facebook's advertising platform. The social media giant, however, said nothing has been set in stone yet, and the new ad format is being tested for now before things are finalized on this. The company would also start testing ads in its Watch service in 2018. "We'll start with 6-second pre-roll with the goal of understanding what works best for different types of shows across a range of audiences". The move, which is still being tested, will only apply to videos lasting over three minutes, and won't be unleashed until you're at least a minute into the content you're watching. This will replace the earlier arrangement where videos that were a minimum of 90 seconds were eligible for Ad Breaks. "Engaging videos that not only bring people together, but drive repeat viewership and engagement, will do well in News Feed". This, according to the research it carried out, showed that people will most likely continue to watch the content through the break.

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