Longer videos will have more weight in Facebook’s news feed algorithm

Facebook’s news feed algorithm, much like Google’s search algorithm, is a well-kept corporate secret. But once in a while, both corporations reveal certain changes they are bringing to their respective platforms.

Facebook announced it was making a change in the way the importance of the completion rate is considered for longer form videos.

In the past, from what we understand, view rate (the percentage of a video that is viewed) allowed the algorithm to establish if you would be seeing more (or less) videos of the same type.

From now on, as reported in an AdWeek article, the duration of a video will also have an impact on the algorithm.

This means that longer form videos that have a high completion rate will be favoured and should see an increase in distribution, while shorter videos might see a slight dip (it is not known what constitutes long-form video vs short form).

But rest assured, the importance remains in the creation and distribution of video content that is relevant and that is of the proper duration for the story you have to tell. Facebook’s objective is not to entice you to produce longer content, but rather to say that the way engagement with longer form content is analyzed must be different than the way it is for shorter form content.

At Toast, we regularly test the impact of the duration of videos we publish on Facebook. We recently completed a campaign for a client in which we had 640 different creatives with variations in ad copy, call-to-action, but mainly we were testing different durations of video ad content (15 seconds, 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes). In this specific case, it’s the longer form videos that generated the most engagement (clicks, watch time, etc.). Do not hesitate to contact me to [email protected] if you’d like to know more about our tests.

If this subject really interests you, I also recommend you read the article published over at AdWeek on these new changes in Facebook’s algorithm. An interesting read.