Facebook is Opening up its Video Platform to More Creators

Facebook Watch, which initially launched with a mix of short- and long-form TV show-like programming, will soon include content from regular creators.

“We are now bringing videos from Pages into Watch,” the company announced in a blog post this morning. “In our testing, we’ve found that people enjoy discovering and watching a combination of shows and videos in Watch — and for creators, this means their videos may be eligible to show up in Watch to be discovered by a broader audience.”

A Facebook page is a public profile specifically created for businesses, brands, celebrities, causes, and other organizations. Unlike personal profiles, pages do not gain “friends,” but” fans,” which are people who choose to “like” a page.

In addition to widening the content on its Watch platform, Facebook announced plans to open up Ad Breaks to more creators, starting with those who are creating longer, original content that “fosters a loyal community.” The company also plans to open up fan subscriptions to more creators in the coming months.

“We’ve been testing a way for fans to support creators they love by pledging $4.99 (USD) per month in exchange for perks like exclusive content and a special badge highlighting their status as a supporter, and we are now expanding to more creators,” the blog post read.

On the interactive side of things, Facebook is launching a slate of new shows that utilize interactive features like polls and quizzes with the aim of fostering a greater sense of community between creators and users.

“We’re starting with polling for both Live and on demand videos, as well as gamification for Live,” the blog explained. “With these tools, our partners can add a range of new interactive features to videos such as: polls, quiz questions, challenges, and more. These can all be used within an individual video or to create a standalone game show.”

In the coming weeks, a range of creators will begin to incorporate polling and gamification into their shows and videos, including Brent Rivera and That Chick Angel. Facebook also announced several interactive game shows that will be launching in the coming weeks:

– “Confetti” by INSIDER: A live interactive game show made in partnership with INSIDER that will air daily. It will challenge people to answer pop culture trivia questions alongside — and with the help of — their friends. Players can see which friends are playing at the same time, and be able to see how friends answered questions. Players who answer all questions correctly will split a cash prize.

read more here: thevideoink.com

Teens leaving Facebook for YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat

Until recently, Facebook had dominated the social media landscape among America’s youth – but it is no longer the most popular online platform among teens, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Today, roughly half (51 per cent) of US teens ages 13 to 17 say they use Facebook, notably lower than the shares who use YouTube, Instagram or Snapchat.

This shift in teens’ social media use is just one example of how the technology landscape for young people has evolved since the Center’s last survey of teens and technology use in 2014-2015. Most notably, smartphone ownership has become a nearly ubiquitous element of teen life: 95 per cent of teens now report they have a smartphone or access to one. These mobile connections are in turn fuelling more-persistent online activities: 45 per cent of teens now say they are online on a near-constant basis.

The survey also finds there is no clear consensus among teens about the effect that social media has on the lives of young people today. Minorities of teens describe that effect as mostly positive (31 per cent) or mostly negative (24 per cent), but the largest share (45 per cent) says that effect has been neither positive nor negative.

These are some of the main findings from the Center’s survey of US teens conducted in March and April 2018. Throughout the report, “teens” refers to those ages 13 to 17.

Facebook is no longer the dominant online platform among teens

The social media landscape in which teens reside looks markedly different than it did as recently as three years ago. In the Center’s 2014-2015 survey of teen social media use, 71 per cent of teens reported being Facebook users. No other platform was used by a clear majority of teens at the time: Around half (52 per cent) of teens said they used Instagram, while 41 per cent reported using Snapchat.

In 2018, three online platforms other than Facebook – YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat – are used by sizable majorities of this age group. Meanwhile, 51 per cent of teens now say they use Facebook. The shares of teens who use Twitter and Tumblr are largely comparable to the shares who did so in the 2014-2015 survey.

For the most part, teens tend to use similar platforms regardless of their demographic characteristics, but there are exceptions. Notably, lower-income teens are more likely to gravitate toward Facebook than those from higher-income households – a trend consistent with previous Center surveys. Seven-in-ten teens living in households earning less than $30,000 a year say they use Facebook, compared with 36 per cent whose annual family income is $75,000 or more.

It is important to note there were some changes in question wording between Pew Research Center’s 2014-2015 and 2018 surveys of teen social media use. YouTube and Reddit were not included as options in the 2014-2015 survey but were included in the current survey. In addition, the 2014-2015 survey required respondents to provide an explicit response for whether or not they used each platform, while the 2018 survey presented respondents with a list of sites and allowed them to select the ones they use. Even so, it is clear the social media environment today revolves less around a single platform than it did three years ago.

When it comes to which one of these online platforms teens use the most, roughly one-third say they visit Snapchat (35 per cent) or YouTube (32 per cent) most often, while 15 per cent say the same of Instagram. By comparison, 10 per cent of teens say Facebook is their most-used online platform, and even fewer cite Twitter, Reddit or Tumblr as the site they visit most often.

read more here: advanced-television.com

IAB says revenues up 21% to $88B in 2017. What they don’t say: ‘not for you’

The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) is out with its Q4 and 2017 year-end state of the digital advertising industry report. In a repeat of the past several years, digital advertising revenue is up. There was growth across formats and devices. And while the IAB doesn’t name names, Facebook and Google continue to suck up most of the oxygen in the room.

The data for the IAB report is collected from IAB member companies and publicly available corporate data by PwC.

Overall, digital ad revenue grew 21.4 percent to $88 billion in 2017. To put that in perspective, PwC says the revenue change in digital seen last year is greater than in the newspaper industry as a whole.

Digital video increased overall share in 2017, chipping away at search, to $11.9 billion, up 33 percent from $8.9 billion in 2016. Search still continued to grow at 17.5 percent in 2017, to $40.6 billion. Banner revenues, which includes banners, sponsorships and rich media, totaled $27.5 billion in 2017, up 23 percent from 2016.

Mobile continues to gain share, accounting for 57 percent of the overall digital ad pie in 2017, to reach $49.9 billion. That’s more than all digital ad revenues in 2014. Mobile has seen a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 71.4 percent since 2010. Mobile share grew across all formats, as shown in the slide from the IAB webinar on the report.

Despite mobile’s ascendance, desktop revenues still grew in 2017, with a CAGR of 6 percent over 2016.

CPMs also increased in 2017, according to data from SQAD.com shared by the IAB. CPMs for in-stream video were up 3 percent 2017 year over year to $25.22, and CPMs for display rose 6 percent to $14.72 on average.

Social media isn’t broken out as a format, but its share of revenue topped 25.2 percent in 2017, reaching $22.2 billion. Facebook, of course, accounts for the bulk of social media advertising spend in the US.

Duopoly dominance
The IAB doesn’t release data on specific companies, but the top 10 companies commandeered 74 percent of total revenues. That share among the top 10 has remained relatively consistent, says the IAB. The elephant in the room is the fact that the top two — Facebook and Google — now make up the majority of that 74 percent.

During the webinar announcing the IAB report, Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research shared his analysis of Google and Facebook’s share of the market in the US. Acknowledging there are “a lot of assumptions” that go into these estimates and that his analysis is based on gross revenue, Wieser said, “It seems clear they are taking share. [Google and Facebook] probably accounted for 90 percent of the growth. The rest probably accounted for 10 percent or so.” Weiser pegs the duopoly’s share of US ad revenues at above 70 percent.

read more here: marketingland.com

Types of Videos Facebook Won’t Monetize

Facebook is expanding pre-roll video ads to more areas on the platform. The company is also clarifying its monetization policies giving additional detail on the kinds of videos that aren’t eligible for ads.

The company has announced that after testing pre-roll ads for shows in its video section, Facebook Watch, it will be expanding the test to other places where videos can be found, like in search results or on a Facebook Page timeline.

In addition to previous ad-eligibility guidelines released last fall that restricts ads from running on certain kinds of content — including videos that have sexual themes, depict violent or illegal activity, contain inappropriate language, or misappropriate children’s characters — Facebook will not monetize certain low-quality videos or publishers who engage in sharing and distribution schemes.

“We are focused on growing payouts for creators and publishers who develop engaged and loyal audiences and are working on growing payouts for partners who develop loyal, engaged viewing,” the company wrote in a blog post.

Other types of video content ineligible for monetization include:

Manufactured sharing and distribution schemes:

Content partners with paid arrangements for Pages to methodically and inorganically share videos can no longer monetize views originating on the third party Pages. According to Facebook, this behavior optimizes for distribution rather than quality and does not build deep relationships between people and content.

Formats unsuitable for an ad:

When content partners use video formats that aren’t actually video – like static or minimal movement videos or content that just loops – they are creating experiences not intended for ad break monetization, says Facebook. People do not expect to see ads in this type of content, and this is not the type of content advertisers want to run ads in.

Limited editorialization of content:

Facebook says that pages primarily distributing videos of repurposed clips from other sources with limited editorialization do not foster engaged, loyal communities in the way that Pages that produce and publish original, thematic or episodic videos do. “While we will not be taking immediate enforcement action on this issue, we want to signal to content producers that this is a programming style we will more deeply evaluate over the coming weeks and months to assess what level of distribution and monetization matches the value created for people,” the company wrote in the blog post.

read more here: thevideoink.com

5 Things To Learn From Mark Zuckerberg’s Congressional Testimony

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent several hours answering questions from dozens of U.S. senators in Washington, D.C. The questions varied from explaining the basics of ad-tech to answering whether Facebook would support bills strengthening privacy laws.

Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress comes nearly a month after Facebook banned the British data firm Cambridge Analytica after it allegedly improperly accessed the data of as many as 87 million users. Questioning is expected to continue for another couple of hours with another entire day of testimony scheduled for Wednesday before the House of Representatives.

Some lawmakers are considering regulation

Several lawmakers today suggested Facebook might need to be regulated in order to protect consumers’ privacy. While some suggested that Facebook needs to prove it can regulate itself, others tried to get Zuckerberg to commit to supporting future legislation that would let users opt in to providing data rather than its current opt-out model. One example of that is the proposed CONSENT Act, introduced today by U.S. Sen. Ed Murkey. The bill would require opt-in consent from users before a company could use, share or sell personal information. It would also require companies to notify users of all data collected and shared and notify them if there’s ever a breach. Zuckerberg said he agrees in general with some regulation and even offered to provide a list of ways it might make sense.

Lawmakers don’t all understand how Facebook works

A lot of questions today revolved around how data is collected, used or deleted. Several lawmakers suggested Facebook sells user data, but Zuckerberg said the company doesn’t. Zuckerberg and lawmakers were often at odds about the idea of how users are able or not able to consent to how their data is used.

Robert Mueller has questioned Facebook

Zuckerberg was asked if anyone at Facebook had been subpoenaed or interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, which is currently investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. At first, Zuckerberg briefly hesitated before saying yes. He then clarified that he wasn’t sure about the subpoenas but confirmed some employees had been interviewed. (He said he was not among those interviewed.)

Facebook hasn’t thrown out the idea of a paid model

At least two lawmakers followed up on COO Sheryl Sandberg’s comments last week suggesting that Facebook would need a paid model if users want to opt out of ads. Zuckerberg did not directly answer whether it’s currently exploring a paid model. However, he didn’t totally shut down the idea, saying there will “always be a version” of the platform that’s free to use.

Wall Street was happy with Zuckerberg’s performance
While some wondered how the interview-averse Zuckerberg might perform in front of a few dozen lawmakers, Facebook’s stock price jumped during the hearing, increasing 4.5 percent to close at $164.98 per share.

read more here: adweek.com

More Than $1B in Fines Loom in Facebook Scandal

As Mark Zuckerberg prepared for his Tuesday Senate testimony and Wednesday House hearing, The Washington Post reported there’s a call for the Facebook CEO’s ouster and that record fines may loom for the embattled social media giant. (For full coverage of Zuckerberg’s Tuesday appearances before the Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committees, click here and here.)

The Post reports that Scott Stringer, New York City’s comptroller and custodian of the city’s $193 billion pension fund, which holds $895 million in Facebook stock, wrote a letter March 27 pushing Facebook to add three new independent directors and replace Zuckerberg with an independent chairman.

“Part of my fiduciary role is to ask questions of this company as it relates to issues they’re facing,” said Stringer in an interview last week about his letter. Regarding the Cambridge Analytica revelations, he said, “There’s regulatory risk. There’s revenue risk. There’s reputational risk. And there’s also a genuine risk to our democracy.”

The paper also reports that three former Federal Trade Commission (FTC) officials said Facebook’s disclosure that its search tools were used to collect data on most of its 2.2 billion users could potentially trigger record fines and create new legal vulnerability for not having prevented risks to user data.

Those officials, all of whom were at the FTC during the privacy investigation that led to a 2011 consent with Facebook, said the company’s latest mishap may violate the decree’s provisions requiring the implementation of a privacy program.

But Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, dismissed concerns about the fines in an interview with Bloomberg News, “I think we’re very confident that that was in compliance with the FTC consent decree,” she said.

Still, David Vladeck, who was head of the FTC’s bureau of consumer protection when the decree was drafted and signed by Facebook, told The Washington Post it is possible that this episode is a violation of the consent decree and that Facebook may face fines of $1 billion or more.

“The agency will want to send a signal … that [it] takes its consent decrees seriously,” Vladeck said.

In another blow, Charter Communications Chairman and CEO Tom Rutledge, blogged Monday that he hopes Congress cracks down on Facebook and privacy issues.

“Despite our reliance on websites and social media, the truth is, most people don’t know that when they engage in these activities online, many internet companies are collecting a significant amount of information about them and selling it to others for advertising, research and even voter persuasion purposes,” Rutledge writes. “So we are urging Congress to pass a uniform law that provides greater privacy and data security protections and applies the same standard to everybody in the Internet ecosystem, including us.”

Facebook continues efforts to regain trust. On Monday, it announced a new research initiative with seven nonprofits to study the effect of social media on elections. Under the new initiative, social science researchers will propose research projects for peer review based on a set of general research goals. If a proposal is approved, the researchers will receive the anonymized data from Facebook and accompanying funding from the foundations.

Crucially, Facebook “will not have any right to review or approve their research findings prior to publication,” although it may have influence over which projects are approved.

read more here: responsemagazine.com

Facebook Limiting Information Shared With Data Brokers

Facebook is curbing the information that it exchanges with companies that collect and sell consumer data for advertisers, as the social-media giant tries to calm an uproar over its handling of personal information.

The measures, part of which Facebook announced late Wednesday, affect a group of so-called data brokers such as Acxiom Corp. and Oracle Corp.’s Oracle Data Cloud, formerly known as DataLogix, that gather shopping and other information on consumers that Facebook for years has incorporated into the ad-targeting system that is at the core of its business.

Facebook said it is ending an ad-targeting option called Partner Categories that lets such data brokers target specific groups of Facebook users—people who buy a certain product, for example—on behalf of their ad clients. Facebook believes shutting that system down “will help improve people’s privacy on Facebook,” Graham Mudd, product marketing director at Facebook, said in a post Wednesday.

​In addition, Facebook is halting its practice of providing anonymized data from its platform to such information brokers that they use to measure the effectiveness of their ad campaigns, said people familiar with the matter. But the company is trying to find more secure ways to share data with these brokers to measure ad performance, one of the people said, at a time when advertisers are clamoring for data that proves that Facebook ads work.

Facebook is making the changes as part of a broader internal review of how it handles user information. The company is reviewing its relationship with data brokers in part because it is concerned about how those firms are obtaining their data and how accurate it is, one of the people said.

Late Wednesday, Acxiom confirmed Facebook had informed it of plans to end Partner Categories, which Acxiom estimated will reduce its fiscal 2019 revenue and profit by as much as $25 million. Acxiom’s brief statement didn’t give a reason for Facebook’s decision.

“Today, more than ever, it is important for businesses to be able to rely upon companies that understand the critical importance of ethically sourced data and strong data governance,” Acxiom CEO Scott Howe said. “These are among Acxiom’s core strengths.”

Oracle declined to comment.

Facebook has battled criticism over its user-data practices since it said on March 16 that personal information was improperly obtained by Cambridge Analytica, a data-analytics firm that worked for the 2016 Trump campaign.

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg apologized last week for a “major breach of trust” in that episode and outlined steps the company has taken and plans to take to better protect user data. On Wednesday, the company also announced measures to make it simpler for users to examine and change some of the data about them that the social network tracks.

Curbing its relationships with data brokers could affect Facebook’s value proposition to advertisers, removing a layer of information that has helped some marketers target ads with greater precision. But the impact is likely to be limited, industry executives said.

Facebook’s partnership with data providers has particularly helped brands that lacked detailed customer data, such as consumer packaged-goods makers, said Lance Neuhauser, CEO of 4C Insights, a digital-ad service provider. However, he said, advances in Facebook’s own targeting capabilities have “made the need for some of this third party targeting a little less important.”

Facebook and other internet companies also are under pressure from European Union authorities to make sure all of its targeting data is collected with user permission, as part of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation scheduled to take effect in May. Verifying that could be difficult with data from brokers, Mr. Neuhauser said.

In a memo to advertising agencies, Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s vice president of global marketing solutions, said the data-broker relationships would be phased out in six months. Advertisers can still target audiences on Facebook but they must use “data that they have the rights, permissions, and lawful basis to use,” she said. “We understand this may impact your clients advertising efforts on our platform, and we will work with you through this transition.”

While Facebook has a huge amount of data on users—sites they’ve liked, their interests and detailed demographic information, even their chat history—brokers such as Acxiom, Oracle Data Cloud, and Epsilon Data Management LLC have reams of information on people’s purchases, household income and other characteristics.

That information is matched to Facebook profiles, allowing brands to target ads at people who have bought certain products—and extend those campaigns to Facebook users with similar characteristics. These relationships helped Facebook beef up its ad-targeting capabilities in recent years, former employees say.

read more here: wsj.com

The Cambridge Analytica Scandal Won’t Stop Advertisers

Facebook is running out of eyes to blacken in the wake of revelations over the weekend that Trump-affiliated data firm Cambridge Analytica harvested information from 50 million Facebook accounts without permission.

But as long as ads continue to perform on Facebook, the scandals won’t lead advertisers to pull back their spend.

“We may see individuals delete the app, but this won’t change spending patterns,” said Pivotal analyst Brian Wieser.

Advertisers follow the audience, said Melissa Parrish, VP and group director at Forrester, and as long as a channel “works,” they’ll continue to use it.

If advertisers were going to stop spending on Facebook because of bad news, there would have been a meaningful decline last year or even the year before with news of Facebook’s “fairly serious” measurement errors and its fake news problem, Parrish said.

“The only way this scandal affects Facebook advertising is if consumers grow weary and wary of Facebook and start to spend less time on the platform,” she said.

Indeed, Facebook did report a slight dip in North America daily active users during its last earnings call.

But Facebook is still far bigger than any other media platform in the world, other than Google.

“And if not Facebook, where is an advertiser going to go if they need digital media? Verizon?” Wieser said. “Well, that’s the No. 3 platform.”

And while Facebook may be getting a PR beating, advertisers won’t be guilty by association if they continue to advertise through the platform. Brands that advertise on Breitbart, for example, might cause consumers to blacklist a product. Those that advertise on Facebook are just among the more than 5 million brands that do.

Wieser likened the phenomenon to the many controversies that swirl around the NFL. Some viewers take offense at players who take a knee, while others don’t tune in because of the head injury issue. But, at least for now, advertisers aren’t pulling back on spend against the sport. They probably will, though, if viewership tanks.

Even so, the Cambridge Analytica episode is a major headache for Facebook, which has been putting out fires and popping proverbial Tylenol since mid-2016 with the first whisperings that Russian operatives had exploited its ad platform to help sway the US presidential election.

The most recent headlines are just more evidence of systemic problems at Facebook. The platform has been under increasing scrutiny from Washington on both sides of the aisle as it struggles to police its platform.

And Cambridge Analytica’s breach revolves around data that was permissibly collected by an academic researcher named Aleksandr Kogan, through an authorized app he’d created in 2013 – standard operating procedure at Facebook, although the type of data that could be collected through its API was far more expansive back then, including profile data on a user’s network of friends. This type of collection has since been barred by Facebook.

The leak happened sometime between 2013 and 2015 when Kogan shared that data with Cambridge Analytica, which he had no right to do.

Although Facebook knew about it, it didn’t disclose the fact and didn’t make a robust enough effort to ensure that Cambridge Analytica deleted the wrongfully shared data. Cambridge Analytica says it deleted the data, but media reports and former Cambridge Analytica contractors say otherwise.

Facebook suspended the accounts of both Cambridge Analytica and its parent company, SCL Group, just hours before The New York Times and The Observer in the UK published expansive stories on Cambridge Analytica’s shady dealings with Kogan.

It’s a hot mess, but advertisers are far more likely to make media decisions “almost exclusively based upon their own individual tracking and performance” rather than on external factors, one media exec told AdExchanger, nothing that advertisers “would shift dollars only once a negative impact was measured and identified.”

That’s not to say advertisers and agencies aren’t getting more cautious. Another media executive told AdExchanger that internal guidance was issued to team members at the agency this weekend about being more proactive when vetting third parties that share or have access to data on Facebook.

But don’t expect advertisers to cross Facebook off their media plans.

read more here: adexchanger.com

Report: Facebook and Google Are Losing Ad Dominance

A new report from eMarketer suggests that the Big 2 will experience dips in market share over the next few years.
According to a new eMarketer forecast, the Big 2, that is the top two companies in terms of digital advertising revenue, Google and Facebook, are expected to lose market share by 2021.

The duopoly enjoyed a combined share of U.S. digital ad spending of 58.5 percent in 2017, but this is anticipated to fall to 56.8 percent over the course of this year, translating into a nearly two percent loss. By 2020, this will drop an additional point and a half to 55.3 percent.

That said, eMarketer analysts anticipate a rebound beginning sometime in 2020. And beyond that, while their dominance will slightly decrease, both platforms are expecting to see significant revenue increases over the next several years.

Image via MediaPost

The declines are not a function of an overall decrease in digital ad spend; conversely, overall spending will hit $107 billion in 2018, reflecting a 19 percent increase Instead, The Wall Street Journal points to rivals like Amazon and Snapchat as the main reason, suggesting that advertisers are increasingly testing platforms outside of the Big 2 in their efforts.

What has not been factored into this estimate is marketers’ growing wariness toward the Big 2 with regards to brand safety and an increasingly alarming public perception that these properties have amassed too much power with little regulation from outside forces. These concerns have already made a financial impact on tech stocks as of late.

Following widespread public outcry in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook shares fell 8 percent in a single day. The news has sparked a far-reaching conversation about Facebook’s ability to monetize user data—and do so in a seemingly unfettered fashion.

Users have also taken to Twitter to announce their plans to #deletefacebook. One significant member of the movement has been WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton. WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $16 billion.

Google, and more specifically its video behemoth YouTube, are also on shaky terms with leading advertisers. With leading brands threatening to reduce spend on the platform, YouTube has had to revise and bolster its approach to brand safety.

read more here: www.thevideoink.com

After Facebook’s News Feed Changes, What’s Next For Publishers?

Facebook’s announcement a few weeks ago that it plans to put more content from friends and family into users’ news feeds will have forced many digital publishers to reassess their social strategies. From social-first publishers in the vein of Unilad to mainstream news outfits like the New York Times, the majority of publishers have seen Facebook as a key part of their distribution and marketing strategies.

Video strategies in particular might need a rethink, with many publishers pushing into video due to it’s Facebook-friendly nature, and some even devoting teams entirely to social video, as Al Jazeera did with AJ+.

With the dust now settled after Facebook’s announcement, what come next for digital publishers?

Engagement is King

Though some publishers may see the move as an attack by Facebook, the company itself says the update is an improvement based on user feedback. As such it believes the changes will make its platform more engaging for users, which has potential benefits for publishers; a more engaged user will pay more attention to the content they see.

The changes are also part of a broader reaction by Facebook to allegations that Russian actors used the social network to try to influence the 2016 US election. The Russia story has tarnished the platform’s image as a news distributor, so any actions which restore Facebook’s reputation could make it a more effective tool for publishers too.

The company does however acknowledge that “Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease.” Interestingly too, Facebook’s director of product management Mark Hull admitted the company expects time spent on Facebook to go down, meaning not only will publishers’ content be further down the News Feed, but it’ll be less likely that users scroll down that far too.

Facebook’s advice to publishers is to focus even more on engagement, which it measures through views, reactions, comments and shares. It seems comments in particular will significantly boost ranking, as the company says posts which “generate conversations” will show higher on the News Feed.

Adam Mosseri, head of News Feed, says that video is actually the best way to do this, saying that videos, and live videos in particular, tend to prompt discussions. Facebook’s line, then, seems to be that Pages can still reach big audiences, but it will be more important than ever that content plays to the all-important algorithm.

Double Down on Facebook?

Some do think there’s merit to Facebook’s angle, saying that the update will improve the user experience, getting a better balance between publisher and user generated content.

Matt Breen, commercial director at social publisher Media Chain, agrees that a less cluttered news feed will provide opportunities for companies like his own. “Facebook’s latest announcement means that there will be less clutter in the News Feed, with publisher content reducing from 5% to 4% of total posts,” said Breen. “This represents a greater opportunity for Media Chain’s social media brands to stand out, capture attention and drive user engagement.”

Jungle Creations, the social focussed publisher behind popular Facebook pages VT and Twisted, says it will use the opportunity to double down on the platform. The company believes that a reduction in publisher content on the News Feed will mean those like itself who specialise in social content will stand out even more.

“The News Feed update is an opportunity for us to really own the branded content space because we’re best placed to navigate the updates,” said Jungle Creations’ commercial partnerships director Mitch Strong. “There will still be room for quality publisher content in the News Feed, it’s just now it will be a less crowded place so we’ll have a greater opportunity to cut through the noise.”

Strong believes the rules for Facebook essentially remain the same, and follows Facebook’s line that those who create content which drives engagement will find success. Breen echoes this sentiment, saying that “our focus is to engage users on platform, with quality content that evokes emotion from users, which ultimately stimulates conversation on platform that Facebook will prioritise in the News Feed.”

However both acknowledged the importance of diversification for any digital publisher across social media platforms, and said social publishers like their own should diversify beyond social media, with Strong citing Jungle Creations’ release of cookbooks and opening of a restaurant as examples.

Strive for Self-Sufficiency

Others see opportunity in the changes for a distinctly different reason: they believe it will force publishers to finally call time on an unhealthy relationship and focus on fostering direct relationships with their own publications.

“It’s critical for media outlets to create innovative, monetizable solutions on their own terms—rather than staking their futures on social algorithms over which they have no control,” said Jessica Rovello, co-founder and CEO of Arkadium, which creates interactive content for digital publishers.

“Going forward, we’re going to see more publishers using subscription models, and investing in innovative, interactive experiences to secure user loyalty on their own platforms.”

James Pringle, co-founder and CEO of video discovery platform Suggestv, agrees while acknowledging that some publishers’ video content is more suitable for social distribution, meaning that social media will continue to play an important role in their distribution strategies.

“Different publishers will have different requirements on this balance – for example, news brands will have a different mix compared to creators of emotionally driven engagement and community content. But, what all publishers have in common is a need to engage users for longer, within their own brand context, on their owned and operated websites,” he said.

Pringle doesn’t think that video should be any less of a priority for publishers in light of the changes, as he sees the push into video as a consumer driven trend, but he does think it’s time for publishers to refocus their video strategies on their own domains.

“We are seeing a lot of publishers going back to basics on their strategy and taking a far more rational view of what needs to be done to grow high-yield inventory, maximize the ROI of their content investment and move them from low-video environments to potentially being able to have video on every page,” he said.

Survival of the Fittest

Some believe other platforms will emerge which will provide distribution opportunities in the same way Facebook did, which could become a new focus point for video strategies.

“Nature abhors a vacuum,” says Todd Krizelman, co-founder and CEO of MediaRadar, an ad sales management tool. “As Facebook pulls away from publishers, others are stepping forward to help drive audience. So, while publishers will need to backfill the audience urgently, they are unlikely to be left in a lurch for long.”

read more here: videoadnews.com