Meta shares four key signals that the algorithm uses to determine which videos are widely distributed on Facebook.
Signals that have the biggest impact on video distribution include:
- Audience retention
- public loyalty
We will go over each signal in more detail in the following sections.
In a blog post, Meta outlines its video distribution strategy:
“The Facebook video ecosystem values original content and encourages intentional and loyal consumption. We want the videos on our platform to be original, durable and entertaining, which can turn casual viewers into passionate fans.”
In other words – if you produce original videos that viewers keep coming back to watch, chances are your content will be viewed more often.
This is the simple explanation. For more information, continue reading the following sections.
Facebook prioritizes videos created by the person or team posting them.
Facebook will also prioritize videos that are not 100% original if the creator adds something meaningful to the source material.
An example of semi-original content could be adding a unique caption generator to a video someone else has created.
Meta stresses that people should avoid posting content they did not play a significant role in creating.
2. Audience retention
Keeping viewers hooked on a video until the end is a powerful content distribution signal on Facebook.
Meta explains in a blog post:
“Retention is one indicator of how well your audience has received your content – a slow but gradual decrease in the audience retention graph can show that the topic and structure of your video matches well with what your audience wants to see, and premature opting out could mean that the content is not what the viewer expected.”
Meta recommends planning videos around a story, building them for viewing on the go on mobile, and investing in good production quality to increase audience retention for videos.
3. Audience loyalty
In addition to using audience retention as a rating signal for videos, the Facebook algorithm takes into account audience loyalty.
Loyalty refers to how often viewers come back to see more of a creator’s content.
The loyalty signal is stronger when Facebook users search for a creator’s videos or visit a creator’s profile to view their content.
Meta recommends posting “extra” content in-between high production uploads to increase audience loyalty. For example, you can post low production reels while working on your next long video.
Meta also suggests optimizing your Facebook search results by writing clear titles and descriptions and adding relevant hashtags.
Facebook prioritizes video content that generates conversations and interactions.
Interaction between people can increase distribution even further, such as a user sharing a video with a friend.
Although comments and feedback are ranking signals, creators should avoid using engagement bait tactics.
Engagement bait is one of the negative ranking signals on Facebook, which we’ll discuss in the next section.
Facebook video negative ranking signals
Specific tactics can reduce video distribution on Facebook.
Meta says you should avoid doing these things if you want your videos to be seen by a wide audience:
- clash taste: getting people to engage with the content, such as writing captions like, “Like this post if you agree!”
- watchpet: Intentionally withholding information to lure viewers into watching to the end.
- click house: Get viewers to click on a link to information that has been intentionally omitted from the video.
Besides reducing distribution, the above methods can also make a video ineligible for monetization.
Source: Meta for the media
Featured image: Joao Seraphim/Shutterstock