Facebook shared some updates to the way they rank videos in a press release today. According to the release, the social network is "introducing a series of ranking updates over the coming months that will further prioritize original videos that people seek out."
In this article, we’ll take a look at what’s changed with Facebook’s video ranking. Plus, we’ll share some new best practices for video that Facebook released along with their press release.
First, what’s changed about how Facebook is ranking videos? According to the press release, they’re strengthening the influence of three of the factors—loyalty and intent, video and viewing duration, and originality.
It’s important to note that this refers to ranking for organic videos only. As a business owner, you’re still be able to continue using targeted advertising on Facebook and Instagram in the same way you have been.
Loyalty and intent refer to repeat viewership. Facebook says that they’ll "add more weight in ranking to videos that people seek out and return to week after week."
Facebook wants to ensure that video content is engaging and holding the attention of viewers. For this reason, videos that are able to hold the attention of viewers for longer will be more heavily weighted in rankings than those that don’t.
Finally, Facebook will reward creators that are making original content, rather than resharing and reposting content from other sources.
In order to make the most of Facebook’s new video ranking updates, we’ve pulled together some quick tips and best practices. These best practices come straight from Facebook, in a blog post they published today on understanding video distribution on Facebook.
Facebook shares that, "Original videos reflect the unique voice and value of the Page that creates them." Therefore, as we mentioned above, they’re giving more weight in rankings to videos that are distinctive and can’t be found anywhere else on the social network.
DO: Share videos that you wrote, shot, edited, and published yourself, or that you worked with a product partner to create just for your page. Need a little inspiration? Our library of video templates contains a variety of video ideas, designed for social media. You can easily swap out the photos, video clips, and text to create your own, completely original content.
DON’T: Don’t share duplicate content or upload content that’s already been shared by other people. Facebook says that this type of reshared content "may hurt your originality signal and limit distribution."
This also goes for repurposing clips from other sources. Facebook suggests avoiding this, unless the original content has "been meaningfully transformed."
Facebook shares that they "prioritize content that sparks conversations and meaningful interactions between real people. To do this, we increase distribution for videos that inspire friend-to-friend or person-to-person interactions." Videos will get ranked more highly when they:
What types of videos won’t get ranked highly? Those that use engagement bait tactics to encourage people to comment, share, or react.
Try creating videos that educate, entertain, or inspire. These are the types of videos that compel people to tag friends and have conversations in the comments. Viewers are compelled to share so that they can educate, entertain, and inspire their friends too.
Facebook also heavily weighs watch time. If people stick around to watch your videos for more than a minute, it’s a signal to them that it’s highly engaging content. As a result, they prioritize longer videos that get people to stick around for even longer periods of time.
While they recommend three minutes or more, it’s important not to create videos that are long just for the sake of being long. First and foremost, your video should be engaging and hold a viewers’ attention. To learn more, check out our recent blog post on how long organic Facebook videos should be.
Facebook shares, "When people regularly come back to view a Page’s videos, we take it as a strong, positive signal for distribution." How can you get people to come back and watch your videos again and again? There are a couple ways.
The first way is to optimize your Facebook video content for search. When you upload your videos, you’ll have the option to add a title, description, and some keywords. Put some thought into how people might search for your content and build out the title, description, and keywords accordingly.
The second way is to publish content regularly to keep fans coming back. Facebook suggests "publishing bonus content (like Live videos, photos, or text posts) to stay connected with your fans and deepen engagement in between publishing longer videos."
Interested in learning more about how to make the most of your video efforts on Facebook? Join the conversation in our private Facebook group, the Animoto Social Video Marketing Community. See you there!