Facebook Inc. said it would promote videos more on its news feed on December 14. The move is expected to build more interest in episodic shows and compete with leading video sharing and streaming platform YouTube.
Facebook’s News Feed is the most valuable platform for the company as it is the first thing its 2.1 billion users see after opening in app or website. Facebook unveiled “News Feed values” in 2016 and highlighted that posts from friends and family would appear first.
The social media firm has been investing hugely in video services. It launched a video service Watch, which featured shows from Vox and Discovery Communication in August. People can also submit shows in a similar way they submit on YouTube.
“Engaging one-off videos that bring friends and communities together have always done well in News Feed and will continue to do so,” the company said in the blog post.
Brian Wieser, analyst from Pivotal Research Group said though Facebook user count has been growing and revenue has been rising rapidly, the company is unable to make people spend more time on the platform and watch videos.
“They see that YouTube is still growing, rapidly. Facebook is not. So you can make the argument that they’re trying to increase total time spent,” Wieser said in an interview.
About including ads in videos, Facebook announced that it would not allow ads during the videos unless duration of videos is at least three minutes. The company would also start testing ads in its Watch service in 2018.