Facebook Updates Its News Feed Algorithm to Give Preference to Live Video

facebook-live-video-hed-2016.pngIn another sign that Facebook is increasingly betting on real-time video, the social network said its algorithm will now give more preference to video that is live than video that is not.

In a blog post published Tuesday, the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company said people spend on average three times as much time watching Facebook Live video as they spend watching other video content. According to the company, the update is not expected to significantly affect Pages.

“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,” wrote Facebook product managers Vibhi Kant and Jie Xu. “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.”

The company has been gradually making Facebook Live available to its roughly 1.04 billion daily active users. Last summer, it began allowing celebrities to share live videos. Later, it included journalists, verified accounts and other beta users before opening it up to to all iPhone users in January. Then, last week, it added Android users to the mix.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been doing his fair share to foster the format. Last week, after a surprise appearance at Samsung’s Unpacked event in Barcelona, Zuckerberg went live to tell the rest of his followers about a new partnership between the two companies. A day later, during a keynote interview at Mobile World Congress, Zuckerberg said he sees live video as a way for people to have a more authentic and intimate experience sharing about their lives.

Meerkat Launches Developer Platform To Differentiate From Periscope (via Techcrunch)

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How did it feel getting cut off by Twitter with just 2 hours notice? “It sucked” says Meerkat founder Ben Rubin. That’s why it’s determined to treat developers with more respect. In the nine weeks since Meerkat launched, 37 developers have built companion experiences to the livestreaming apps on its unofficial, private API, including stream discovery, automatic uploads of streams to YouTube, and audience analytics tools.

Today, Meerkat is legitimizing those developers by launching an official developer platform and APIs that it promises to never take away. By becoming a platform, Meerkat could allow outside developers to build tools for a much wider variety of use cases than its small, independent team build spawn itself. That might help it differentiate itself from fellow livestreaming app Periscope, which benefits from the massive team and deep pockets of its acquirer Twitter. Read full article here.

Real-Time Perverts and Trolls Pose Challenges for Periscope Marketers via Adweek

periscope-illo-hed-2015Brands like Red Bull and Mountain Dew began using Periscope immediately after the real-time mobile video streaming app was released on March 26. We’ve already addressed the possible legal pitfalls that businesses could encounter, but what about the potential marketing problems afoot?

Specifically, what about a brand’s video stream getting mucked up by sexual or offensive comments from random users? Cosmopolitan.com sex editor Emma Barker reported that the app quickly became filled with men taking advantage of anonymity to sexually harass women. Corporate entities and their on-camera spokespeople could face similar harassment, as well. Read full article here.

It’s time to take vertical video seriously via @Digiday

Vertical-video-bannerMany on the Internet hate vertical video. To self-righteous denizens of reddit and YouTube, people who shoot mobile videos in portrait mode — think skinny and tall video, rather than the widescreen format normalized by movies and television — are uncouth amateurs.

But publishers and marketers who once dismissed vertical video as an amateurish mistake are changing their perspective. That’s in large part due to changing consumption habits that are making mobile the norm rather than the exception. Read full article here.