As always, Facebook is constantly refining the user experience for the benefit of both content creators and consumers. Today, Facebook shared some information regarding changes made to the way videos are ranked in the News Feed, specifically addressing the value it gives to how much a video is watched so that users can find the best possible videos on the social network.
Various signals are evaluated to determine prominence, including live video status and engagement based on length of time watched, as a metric known as “percent completion.” A video that is watched at least halfway identifies the content as “compelling.” A longer video with this weight metric also indicates a bigger commitment, so longer videos may not necessarily be penalized in the News Feed as they may have been before.
The goal of this update is to announce that Facebook acknowledges that long videos shouldn’t necessarily get the shaft: if there is still a lot of engagement on the video, it clearly means it has significance. But that is predicated upon engagement. By creating a longer video, Facebook isn’t going to give the video prominence by default. It still needs to pass this “percent completion” weight metric.
This change isn’t going to happen immediately; Facebook reports it’s rolling out in the next few weeks. In the meantime, publishers can learn about their video performance through their video insights under their Page’s Page Analytics tab to prepare for the upcoming changes. They also don’t have to worry about an ideal video length; that all depends on the content.