Facebook Algorithm Updates Around Video Distribution


As with all Facebook algorithm updates, it pays for brands and Facebook advertising agencies to be in the know. Over the last couple weeks, Facebook announced it will be rolling out a new algorithm for how it ranks videos within the Newsfeed.

Rather than basing reach on whether or not users finish a video, the Facebook algorithm updates are now placing a higher value on the amount of the video users consume. As Facebook moves toward a more video heavy Newsfeed, they continue to improve and tailor content to improve overall user experience.

According to Facebook, “One of the signals we look at is ‘percent completion’ — the percent of each video you watch — to help us understand which videos you enjoyed.”

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Since shorter videos are less of a commitment to view all the way through, the new Facebook algorithm updates apply more for longer videos, where percentage completion is a stronger indication of how engaged its users are. In other words, Facebook is making an effort to avoid penalizing longer content.

Previously, a ten second video viewed for nine seconds may have received a greater organic and paid Newfeed distribution than say a ten minute video watched for seven minutes.

How does this affect my Facebook Page?

“As always, Pages should focus on creating videos that are relevant and engaging to their audiences …The best length for a video is whatever length is required to tell a compelling story that engages people, which is likely to vary depending on the story you’re telling,” the authors noted in the announcement.

Of course, this isn’t the first time Facebook has updated the way it ranks videos within the Newsfeed. Several years ago, Facebook gave preference to a video based on whether it was viewed with or without sound. Prior to that, Facebook’s primary factor in regard to ranking videos relied simply on whether its users watched the content or not.

Lately, Facebook has been giving favorable organic distribution to Live Videos, which could also change in the future. As with all things in life, change is the only constant – and when it comes to social media algorithms, this cliche certainly holds true.

Social media platforms are constantly evolving, so it’s crucial to stay vigilant in your search for new Facebook algorithm updates. When it comes to this most recent change, advertisers could expect to see an increase in distribution with longer videos. As a result, shorter videos may see a decline in distribution.