Facebook’s News Feed algorithm change, which prioritizes posts from users’ friends and family over publisher content, has already negatively impacted publishers’ video performance on the platform, according to a report by video creation platform Wochit.
Although the News Feed tweak was announced just last week, Wochit reports that Facebook started rolling out the change in the second half of 2017. The News Feed tweak led to 8% and 15% quarterly decreases in publisher video views in Q3 and Q4 2017, respectively.
The findings from Wochit legitimize publishers’ concerns that the algorithm would reduce engagement with their content. These findings are especially problematic as a growing number of publishers adopt a distributed content strategy and “pivot to video.” But publishers’ lower video views could be a result of users opting to spend less time on Facebook in general — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he expects the News Feed tweak to decrease time spent on the platform.
Wochit highlighted two video formats that could help publishers maximize user engagement amid Facebook’s News Feed tweak:
- Videos 90 seconds or longer garner more shares and views than shorter videos.In 2017, Facebook videos over 90 seconds long received 52% more shares and 48% more views than videos of other lengths, on average. Publishers took notice of this — the number of 90+ second videos on Facebook almost doubled from Q1 to Q4 2017. Publishers will likely continue to trend toward distributing longer videos on the platform, as Facebook recently announced it would prioritize longer videos and serialized programming in the News Feed. To incentivize creators to make longer videos, Facebook increased the minimum threshold for mid-roll ads in December to videos at least three minutes long, up from 90 seconds.
- Square videos outperformed horizontal videos across all engagement metrics.Square videos received 275% and 482% more views and shares than horizontal videos in 2017. Moreover, square videos received 523% and 349% more comments and reactions than horizontal videos, respectively. The higher engagement is likely due to users perceiving square videos as providing a better viewing experience — users need to flip their phone to landscape orientation for horizontal videos. Wochit’s data indicates publishers took notice of square videos’ strong performance, as the number of square videos on Facebook almost doubled from Q1 to Q4 2017.
- Assesses the evolving social video landscape, with attention to Facebook, YouTube, Snap, and Instagram.
- Analyzes the relative strengths of each platform from a product, distribution, audience, and monetization perspective.
- Looks at what’s next for the industry, so that media creators and brands can invest for the future.
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