This week Facebook announced several updates to their video platform that will have many implications for people that create and share videos on Facebook. In addition to the new analytics available in Page Insights, they are now including several features that will not only make Facebook a better platform for those that create videos, but also for those that spend a lot of time watching video content.
Most importantly, Facebook is now serving up suggested videos on iOS devices when a user clicks a video to watch. Previously there was no way for Facebook to introduce a viewer to similar videos – once any video stopped playing, the viewer was taken back to their News Feed where they would only see posts by their friends and the Pages they are following. With this new feature Facebook can now help expose viewers to video content they are likely to be interested in, even if the video was posted by a Page or individual they are not yet familiar with. One of the biggest differentiators between video on Facebook and YouTube is that it’s incredibly difficult to discover videos that are more than a few days old on Facebook. This new recommendation feature will increase the likelihood that your older videos will be found by new viewers who may be potential fans. This feature will soon be available on Android and desktop devices, and Facebook will also be testing video advertisements as suggested videos.
The next announcement is that Facebook will soon be allowing viewers to save videos for later playback, and videos can be minimized so they continue to playback while the viewer continues to scroll through their News Feed and use other sections of Facebook. These features will make it easier for users to watch videos on their own schedules and while multitasking, so that clicking a video doesn’t require undivided attention. Again, this will be critical for helping Facebook transform from a near-realtime video platform to one that is useful for watching videos days or even weeks after they are initially published.
Finally, Facebook will also be unveiling a Video section which will feature a collection of your saved videos as well as videos from friends and Pages you’re interested in. This feature is still in testing so it may be a while before all users see it, but it will be available at the bottom of the Facebook app on smartphones and in the “Favorites” section of the News Feed on desktop devices. Time will tell whether or not Facebook users are inclined to head to a dedicated Videos section on the Facebook platform, but all of these updates are definitely steps in the right direction for making Facebook a legitimate destination for video creators and musicians.