Facebook Algorithm Update Favours Longer Videos

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  • February 7, 2017

Publishers who post longer Facebook videos that get viewed most of the way through will be rewarded with greater organic reach following a new algorithm change by the social network.

In a blog post towards the end of January, Facebook announced that it was now going to start taking into account something it calls “percent completion” – the percent of each video a user watches, with extra consideration given to publishers whose longer videos engage people and keep them watching.

“We know that completing a longer video is a bigger commitment than completing a shorter one…” We should therefore weight percent completion more heavily the longer a video is, to avoid penalizing longer videos, reads the Facebook blog post.

While the update – which is scheduled to roll out over the coming weeks – won’t drastically affect brands with Facebook Pages, it could spur social media managers to produce lengthier video content. They key, however, will be to produce longer video content that engages followers and encourages them to watch right the way to the end.

Such videos will find themselves popping up in people’s news feeds more often.

The impact the change will have on the reach of shorter videos remains to be seen, but the bottom line is that engagement and relevancy remain huge factors for reach.

However, Facebook was quick to warn that publishers shouldn’t just make videos longer for the sake of it – specifically: “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.”

Facebook is advising publishers to look at the insights available in their Page Analytics to discover which of their videos are performing best.

It should be noted that the algorithm change will only affect the reach of organic videos and paid video ads will not be affected.

You can read the full Facebook blog post here.

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