According to Business Insider, “longer videos with higher completion rates” will be featured more frequently in the News Feed. Adage.com suggests that the social platform is seeking to accommodate trends with new video content that ranges from a video tab to hosting television shows.
What does this mean for the digital space in college athletics? Schools and conferences alike will need to put more emphasis on producing longer feature content. In that regard, many programs are already in a favorable position.
Most of the short, quick-hit videos that exist on social platforms that Facebook appears to be attempting to phase out, generally do not come from sources within collegiate athletics.
According to adage.com, Facebook now has a goal of reducing the amount of low-quality, user-generated clips. The initiative aims to get users to sit back and watch a video on their platform.
Sports programming is very much at the forefront. The live video function of Facebook has been a huge success and universities and conferences have integrated their live streaming of games to the social platform. It is a prime example of what Facebook wants.
They want content that forces users to remain on their site for extended periods of time. In the sports world, live streaming games on Facebook is the best opportunity to engage an audience in a way that is desirable for both parties.
Twitter has also shown signs that longer video content is the way of the future, notably with the streaming of NFL games in the 2016-17 season.
In addition to streaming games and sharing longer-form feature content (which may only need five minutes to be effective), producing regularly scheduled shows would give organizations an opportunity to float towards the top of the Facebook News Feed or potential video tab.
But it would be a mistake to produce a show just for the sake of creating show. Facebook will always cater to the consumer, meaning that if users don’t want to watch longer videos, those videos will not be prominently featured in the News Feed.
Variety quoted Facebook suggesting “the best length for a video is whatever length is required to tell a compelling story that engages people.” In that regard, shorter videos that illustrate an intriguing story could still have success amongst longer video features on Facebook.
Certainly an interesting situation to monitor, Facebook remains in pursuit of leading the digital space.