And yet again, Facebook has tinkered with its News Feed algorithm, this time around to show users the videos they are most likely to watch. The announcement was made via a blog post, in which Facebook engineering manager Meihong Wang and software engineer Yue Zhuo explained that the company is taking further measures and will now take into account a user’s implied or inferred actions when watching videos, to deduce as to how much interest a user has in a particular video or how much he wants to see similar or related videos.
This is quite a stark contrast to Facebook’s earlier approach, as it usually relied on explicit actions such liking a video or posting a comment to determine the level of user interest in videos, or whether he would be interested in seeing other similar or related videos. Though now it seems the social networking giant is digging even deeper.
“We have 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 want to like it,” said Wang and Zhuo.
The new feature has been rolling out globally starting today. Implying that from now on, Facebook would be taking into account implicit user actions such unmuting of videos or whether he expands it to full-screen mode or watches it in HD. The news algorithm would then think that users would prefer watching similar or related videos and place those videos on top of their News Feed.
All in all, it seems to be a rather bizarre approach, at least as of now. Notably, the update comes just after Facebook revamped its video analytics offering for Pages. Recently, the company also announced that its News Feed algorithm will also start taking into account the amount of time spent by a user watching a particular video or videos. Combined with the latest announcement, it seems that there’ll be an onslaught of videos in the News Feed. How much of a success or a disaster this approach turns out to be, we’ll be witnessing in the coming future.
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Lately, the social networking giant has been going gung-ho on videos, aiming at closing the gap with rival YouTube. Their efforts seem to be bearing the fruits of valor, as Facebook’s video count has reached a staggering 4 billion per day in April this year, which is a humongous leap compared to the 1 billion per day count reported back in September 2014.