As with all kinds of content on Facebook, we’re continuing to improve how News Feed surfaces the most relevant videos for you. In the past, we’ve made updates to News Feed that take into account more of the actions that you take on videos and whether a video is live or not. We look at a range of signals when determining which videos to surface to you in News Feed, including how long a video is watched, whether people choose to turn on sound, and if people open the video in full screen.
Today, we’re announcing a change to the way we rank videos in News Feed to adjust the value we give to how much of a video is watched. One of the signals we look at is “percent completion” — the percent of each video you watch — to help us understand which videos you enjoyed. If you watch most or all of a video, that tells us that you found the video to be compelling — and we know that completing a longer video is a bigger commitment than completing a shorter one. As we continue to understand how our community consumes video, we’ve realized that we should therefore weight percent completion more heavily the longer a video is, to avoid penalizing longer videos.
Will This Impact My Page?
While we expect that most Pages will not see significant changes in distribution as a result of this update, longer videos that people spend time watching may see a slight increase in distribution on Facebook — so people who find longer videos engaging may be able to discover more of them in News Feed. As a side effect, some shorter videos may see a slight dip in News Feed distribution.
As always, Pages should focus on creating videos that are relevant and engaging to their audiences. Longer videos that people don’t want to watch will not perform better in News Feed. 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. You also should look at your video insights in Page Analytics to understand how your videos perform.
This change will roll out gradually over the coming weeks. As usual, we’ll continue to make improvements as we better understand video behavior on Facebook, to make sure that people are seeing the most engaging and relevant video content for them.
Update on January 27, 2017 for clarity: This change applies only to organic videos and will not affect video ad distribution.