Original Videos Get a Boost on Facebook
The value of high-caliber original content just keeps going up. In one of the most recent moves, Facebook has decided to update the algorithm that drives videos on the site. With these changes, they're going to do more to promote original content, at the expense of the repeated content that keeps making the rounds with different accounts. This should lead to more originality and creativity, and those who put in the work to create new content that actually offers something to the viewer will have a better chance of getting the exposure they're after, rather than getting washed out by mass content and copied videos.
While this does not mean that content can no longer go viral on Facebook and other social media sites, they are simply trying to reduce the exposure of third-party content created specifically for this purpose. With these low-quality videos, many content mills try to simply reach a huge audience to bring in ad revenue. Many of these videos are not copyrighted, they're taken from other sources, and they've been seen over and over again. Facebook wants more new, fresh content made by people who focus on quality and new ideas, and it wants to reward them accordingly.
It is hard to fault people for trying to get ad revenue in any way they can, but that is not Facebook's main objective. For them, the goal has always been the user experience. They want people to feel like there is a reason to actively engage online. They know that original content drives that type of engagement, gives people something of value, and creates the type of community they want. While there are those who enjoy the generic viral videos, if users get fatigued by them or feel like the site is swamped with pointless content just aimed at selling ad space, they'll check out. The reason for Facebook's massive value lies in its user base, so they must keep as much of it as possible. This is simply one more way to do it.
How They Find Quality Content
Facebook has a few different ideas about how to find quality content. One, as noted above, is simply originality. On top of that, though, they're going to look at how users find these videos. If they go looking for them intentionally, that plays a significant role. The same is true if they come back and watch the same videos multiple times. This shows that they have value to the users.
Another factor they're looking at is just how long people watch the videos before clicking away. Two benchmarks are one minute and three minutes. Videos that can keep people engaged for that long -- it may sound short, but many people only watch for a few seconds before moving on, so three minutes is an eternity on Facebook -- will get more weight in the algorithm than those that don't.
At the end of the day, the goal is quality. Facebook wants to find high-quality videos that users value, and they do it simply by tracking users' watching habits and letting them decide what should get more exposure.
If you're setting up a social media marketing campaign, it's important to take this change into account. Original content is always more valuable, whether it's video content, artistic content or written content. Make sure you use the types of posts that keep people engaged, and Facebook will naturally help you find more exposure.
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