Taking into Account Live Video When Ranking Feed

Vibhi Kant and Jie Xu

By Vibhi Kant, Product Manager and Jie Xu, Software Engineer

Update on December 6, 2016: We’ve heard feedback from people that they don’t find graphics-only polls to be an interesting type of Live content – for example, “Press Love for peanut butter, Haha for jelly” where the whole stream consists of static or looping graphics or images. Given this feedback we’re now taking steps to reduce the visibility of Live streams that consist entirely of graphics with voting. If you post a Live video with graphics-only polls, it may not show up as high in people’s News Feeds.

Originally published on March 1, 2016:
News Feed is made up of posts from the friends and Pages you’ve connected to. These posts can be status updates, photos, videos, links and now, Facebook Live videos. We rolled out Facebook Live on iOS in December and last week we began rolling it out on Android in the US. Over the last three months Facebook Live video has become more and more popular and more and more people and Pages are creating and watching live videos.

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.

Now that more and more people are watching Live videos, we are considering Live Videos as a new content type – different from normal videos – and learning how to rank them for people in News Feed. As a first step, we are making a small update to News Feed so that Facebook Live videos are more likely to appear higher in News Feed when those videos are actually live, compared to after they are no longer live. People spend more than 3x 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.

What does this mean for my Page?
Facebook Live is currently available for verified Pages and public figures using Mentions. We do not expect Pages to see significant changes as a result of this update.

We will continue to learn how people are watching this new content type, and as we improve ranking for Facebook Live videos we’ll continue to post to our News Feed FYI blog.

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