When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was over in Barcelona in March attending a Samsung event, he used Facebook Live to tell his followers about a new partnership between the two companies. The odds are that it went right to the top of his followers’ News Feeds.
Why? Because he has some special Zuckerberg coding in the Facebook algorithm?
Although that could be true, it’s actually because of about the same time as the Barcelona visit, the social network told the world that it was now going to give more preference to Facebook Live Video in News Feeds.
This is the latest in Facebook’s ever-adapting algorithm, which is constantly changing in response to the changing ways of its 1.04 billion users.
First, it punked un-live “Live” video
This is the second recent change in Live content. The first came last December, as Facebook decided to punish “Live” video that was anything but live. This was usually represented in graphics-only polls that asked people to vote, but the whole stream consisted of static or looping graphics or images. It wasn’t live, and it wasn’t video. At that time Facebook said it would reduce the value/visibility of these Live streams that consist entirely of graphics with voting.
Then it gave more love to Live
You may not know much about Facebook Live. The company has been gradually making Facebook Live available to its users. Last summer, it first gave certain celebrities the option to share Live videos. Then it added journalists and beta users. For the masses, it rolled out to iOS in December of last year and was added to Android in March of this year. It allows Facebook users to create video and stream it live to your friends, your friends with exceptions, or to the general public. While it is streaming, both the poster and viewers can post reactions in real time, too.
What’s the value of being live, however, if no one sees it live, right? Facebook Live also lets you send notifications to your followers when you are going to post Live Video so they can be sure to watch for it.
Just after Facebook Live was added to Android, the company also said it was now going to boost the popularity of Facebook Live Video in News Feeds. This was based off of its experience with users posting regular videos in the past. As more and more people began posting videos on Facebook, it updated the News Feed ranking to take into account how many people watched a video and how long people watched for. It also began to look for certain actions that people took with those videos, things such as making the video full screen or turning on the sound. It interpreted those actions as proof that the user wanted to see the video. Over time, the algorithm began to elevate the ranking of the types of videos users seemed to actually like, whether they hit the heart icon or not.
Now Live is its content type
As the company sees Facebook Live Video growing and growing they want to continue to boost its use, so Live videos are now considered to be a new content type. This considers Facebook Live Video to be different than normal video. The first step in rewarding the use of Live Video is that the company will now rank Facebook Live videos higher in the news feed when those videos are live, compared to later when they aren’t live. And it will rank them ahead of static video in all cases.
What does this mean for practice?
At first glance, you may not see an obvious use of Facebook Live Video on your practice Facebook page. But it can boost interaction with your followers, which is always the end goal. Let’s say you celebrate your aesthetician’s birthday in the office. You could stream Live Video of the event and those patients were seeing the video could weigh in with their birthday wishes or comments about how great the aesthetician is.
Or you could give a mini demo of a new piece of equipment. You could notify all of your followers that you’re going to debut this new equipment on Facebook Live at 5:00. Then when they tune in you can give a live demonstration on how the equipment works and what it is meant to address. Afterward, you could take live questions.
If you do these kinds of things with Facebook Live Video, the new algorithm changes will push it higher on the News Feed of your followers. And, of course, it will stay up afterward for people to see if they didn’t catch the live feed.
Do you have questions about Facebook Live and how it can work for your practice? Contact your Advice Media representative and ask away.