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Facebook video updates: What media companies should know

By Jessica Berger

Hessische Niedersächsische Allgemeine (HNA)

Kassel, Hesse, Germany


Videos on Facebook are so popular, and that won’t change in 2018. In the past few weeks, the social network announced some updates — from its own music library to new modes of distribution and new tools for video creators.

Facebook video creators can now access and use music from the Sound Collection.
Facebook video creators can now access and use music from the Sound Collection.

Music on Facebook videos: Sound Collection and a deal with Universal

For years publishers had problems finding the right music for Facebook videos. Facebook itself has now presented the solution with the Sound Collection. Here you can find thousands of audio tracks and sound effects you can use for Facebook and Instagram videos. The best part is they are all free. Facebook has bought the rights from composers and songwriters, and more songs and sounds will be added in the future.

The Sound Collection works like YouTube’s audio library. You can search songs by category, mood, length, and other factors. Then you download the song or sound, and you can use it for your videos. Find more information on how to use the sounds.

In 2018, Facebook will become more of a video platform. Just before Christmas, the company announced a major licensing deal with Universal Music Group. The agreement will enable users to upload and share videos that contain licensed music from UMG on Facebook as well as on Instagram and Oculus without breaching copyright.

Facebook representatives have said there are plans to expand its music offerings “to enable access to a vast library of music across a series of social features.” How companies can benefit from this deal isn’t known in detail.

New features support video content creators.
New features support video content creators.

360-degree videos: Community, loan programme, and a new tool

Users on Facebook also love 360-degree videos. Up to this point, more than one-million 360-degree videos have been shared on the platform. Therefore, Facebook is expanding activities in this field and wants to support video creators.

For example, there is a new community Web site with great examples and tutorials for creating 360-degree videos and photos. Facebook explains what camera equipment you need, how to start with these interactive videos, how to edit 360-degree videos, and so on.

Furthermore, Facebook offers a camera loaner programme with Blend Media. For example, you can borrow cameras such as the GoPro Fusion and ZCam S1 for your projects.

The network also released 360 Director, a “new page of creative tools for editing 360 videos on Facebook” for profiles and pages. With the page’s features, you can add text and symbols to your content, guide users through your videos, set the effective zoom level, and so on.

New way of video distribution on the news feed

Facebook’s news feed is full of videos. People love videos, and that’s a good indicator for creators to publish more videos. Until now, users have seen videos in their news feed from pages they like and content with which they interact based on an algorithm. But ultimately, the network makes the choice for users.

Now that’s changing. Facebook is updating the news feed ranking of videos “to improve the distribution of videos that people actively want to watch. With this update, we will show more videos in the news feed that people seek out or return to watch from the same publisher or creator week after week.”

Facebook explains these could be shows or videos that are part of a series, or from partners who are creating active communities.

If you fear your videos won’t be successful anymore, rest assured. Facebook says one-off videos that bring people together, drive repeat viewership, and get lots of engagement will still do well on the news feed. With this update, the network wants to make it easier for creators “to reach their existing community.”

In addition to these updates, live videos will still be important on Facebook in the new year.

With all recent updates Facebook is putting an emphasis on users’ interests. Also, noted in the News Feed Publisher Guidelines, it’s always about what’s relevant for the user and not what publishers think is relevant.

Luckily Facebook gives more insights on how to create successful videos and publishes tools for creators. This makes it easier for publishers. But to follow all of Facebook’s rules is sometimes not as easy as it seems.

About Jessica Berger

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