On January 18, 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook was tweaking its algorithm for populating videos in your feed:
“At its best, Facebook has always been about personal connections. By focusing on bringing people closer together — whether it’s with family and friends, or around important moments in the world — we can help make sure that Facebook is time well spent.”
You can read Mark Zuckerberg’s entire post here. But we’ll save you the time and sum up what Zuck said, and what it means for your video content strategy.
Facebook generates a lot of video traffic, as in 8 billion daily views a lot. Most of that video content is mindless garbage. Videos created by companies, or as Zuck calls them “public posts,” that target you because of what they think you’ll watch. Let’s say you like cars. Then you’re probably seeing a lot of videos of people totaling Ferraris on your feed. While that’s something you’re going to watch, it’s not what Facebook wants to be associated with. They want to leave that market to YouTube (we presume).
Facebook knows they can keep you on their site for hours, but they want those hours to be meaningful. They want you to spend time connecting with your friends. Not watching public posts created by someone you don’t know. They want to fuel discussions amongst friends, and they want content that’s going encourage that. They no longer want to show you people crashing Ferraris, they want to show videos of how Ferrari is working on an engine that will revolutionize the world. They want you and your friends to debate whether Tesla or Ferrari is the future of the car industry.
At the end of the day, Facebook still needs to make a profit. Video advertising is still a huge source of revenue for Facebook. So it’s not as if they’re cutting out public content completely. In their own words the public content you’ll see “should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
How to adapt:
If you’ve heavily relied on Facebook to drive business, you’re going to have to rethink your video content strategy. If you’re a new Chicago Deep Dish pizza spot you’re not going to get on people’s feeds by putting up videos of people eating an entire pie in 15 seconds. Facebook is now suppressing these types of videos, even for hardcore foodies. But a video of the pizzeria giving back to the community of Chicago might be organically pushed. This style of video will get people tagging their friends and saying “hey, let’s go eat there.” This video will drive action and give Facebook exactly what they want: “bringing people together.” It’ll generate positive experiences through a connection made on Facebook. Positive and connection are the keywords, they’re what this change is aiming to accomplish.
So what does that mean for us professionals? Well, depends on what kind of content you’ve been creating. There are a ton of great, authentic videos created by professionals and companies. We’re one of those companies! We’re a team of professionals who provide video production services. We also create videos on our own dime through our inspiration channel. Videos that we’ve made through our inspirational channel definitely make the cut. They’re all about making a connection between our viewers and our subjects. But, some of our branded content is no longer suitable for the new Facebook.
Like any great business, we’re going to have to adjust. We’re already begun pushing our corporate clients to create inspirational video channels of their own. Now, to even have a chance of going “viral” on Facebook corporate content will need to be, well, non-corporate. Our suggestion is instead of focusing on the brand, focus on the people that make the brand. People make a company great, people give a brand life and character. Celebrate those people. Create videos about their personal stories and their journeys. Not only will these types of videos be better suited for Facebook, but you can also repurpose them as recruitment videos!
There will always be a place for mindless videos for you to spend hours watching. If that’s your cup of tea, great! Who are we to judge? We at True Film Production love a good prank video or fail video. However, Facebook doesn’t want to be the place we watch fail videos. If your livelihood depends on creating or curating such videos, it’s time to wean off Facebook and move to a different platform.
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