Facebook is changing up its News Feed algorithm to give better standing to longer videos. Currently, the social network takes into account “percent completion” in order to determine which videos to surface on other users’ feeds — though now it is drawing a distinction between percent completion on longer videos as opposed to percent completion on shorter ones.
“We know that completing a longer video is a bigger commitment than completing a shorter one,” the company wrote in a blog post. “We’ve realized that we should therefore weight percent completion more heavily the longer a video is, to avoid penalizing longer videos.” The result of this tweak, Facebook says, is that longer videos may see a slight increase in distribution, whereas shorter videos might see a slight dip.
The change will roll out over coming weeks.
Other factors that Facebook says its algorithm takes into account in terms of News Feed distribution are whether viewers turn on the sound for a video, and whether they watch it in full screen mode.
Longer, premium videos seem to be Facebook’s current focus in its ever-evolving video strategy — as such clips would presumably have a better chance at nabbing lucrative TV ad dollars. For instance, Facebook is said to be deemphasizing live video in its discussions with media partners today in favor of traditional shows a la Netflix. Facebook is also testing mid-roll ads that appear 20 seconds after videos start, emphasizing overall watch time as opposed to the three-second metric that it currently uses to count a view.