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Facebook announced on Thursday that it is making an update to the News Feed ranking that will help surface videos people are proactively seeking out and coming back to on Facebook.
Basically, the company wants to promote videos more prominently inside its News Feed, so that it can generate interest in episodic shows and is able to rival directly with YouTube. Facebook also said that it is making changes to the kind of video advertisement that are present on the network. As we are all aware, we get to see posts from our friends and businesses on Facebook's News Feed.
A complex algorithm system comes into play to determine which posts users see first. If you recall, Facebook had released a statement of "News Feed values" to make sure that posts from friends and family would come first.
The company now apparently is investing more money in the video segment. In August this year, Facebook created a video service called Watch. Currently, it streams shows from Vox and Discovery Communications Inc. However, just like YouTube, it plans to allow people to submit videos as well.
With this new update, we are likely to see videos that Facebook thinks we want to watch. Facebook will show us the videos based on our search history and pages we have liked. What's more, we will also get a see new episodes of a show if we have watched previous episodes of the show.
"Engaging one-off videos that bring friends and communities together have always done well in News Feed and will continue to do so," the company's blog post explains.
While Facebook is still growing with more number of active users on the rise, the company wants to engage its users to its platform by showing them more videos.
One of the advertising changes announced by Facebook may also increase the time spent on the platform. The company said in the blog post that it would no longer includes ads in the middle of videos that are under three minutes.
Lastly, Facebook said that next year it would start testing ads in its Watch service that run at the beginning of videos, which are referred to as pre-roll ads.