How the News Feed Algorithm Treats Facebook Live Videos

By David Cohen Comment

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The expanded availability of Facebook Live is bringing more and more live video into the News Feeds of Facebook users, so how are these live videos being treated by the social network’s News Feed algorithm?

Facebook said in a Newsroom post that its algorithm is treating live videos as a different type of post than “traditional” video posts and making an effort to give more priority to live videos while they are actually live.

The social network described the process it undertook a few years back, when video posts became more and more popular:

As with any new type of content in News Feed, we are learning what signals help us show you the most relevant Facebook Live videos for you personally. For example, a few years ago, when more people began sharing and watching video on Facebook, we listened to feedback to learn what signals helped us show people more of the videos they want to see and fewer of the videos they don’t. At first, we updated News Feed ranking to take into account how many people watched a video and how long people watched for to help us personalize News Feed based on people’s preference for watching video. Over time, we also learned that certain actions people take on a video, such as choosing to turn on sound or making the video full-screen, are good signs they wanted to see that video, even if they didn’t choose to like it.

As for prioritizing Facebook Live videos at the time when they are actually live, Facebook said:

People spend more than three times more time watching a Facebook Live video on average compared to a video that’s no longer live. This is because Facebook Live videos are more interesting in the moment than after the fact.

And as for the impact on pages, Facebook pointed out that Facebook Live is currently available for verified pages and public figures using its Mentions application, but it does not foresee “significant” changes in their News Feed rankings.

Readers: Would you like to see more Facebook Live videos in your News Feeds?

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