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Last week at the Facebook Q&A in Berlin, Mark Zuckerberg, spoke about how Facebook Live, the company’s attempt at live streaming feed, is going to be a big part of Facebook News feed going forward.
The Q&A, live streamed on Facebook, was the first time that Facebook had live streamed it since it launched Facebook Live Video in August 2015. Today, the social network has announced that it is changing its algorithm to favour Live Videos, putting them at the top of News Feed. This is only for currently live videos and not saved videos.
“Over the last three months Facebook Live video has become more and more popular and more and more people and Pages are creating and watching live videos,” Facebook said in a blog post.
Live Video launched widely on iOS in January 2016 and will roll out on Android in the next few weeks. To upload a Live Video, users simply tap the Live Video icon on their status update options and live stream.
Facebook says that more and more people are watching videos on its platform, thus the change in algorithm. Users, according to the company, spend as much as 3x more time watching a Facebook Live Video coverage compared to a video that is not longer live streaming. “This is because Facebook Live videos are more interesting in the moment than after the fact” the company explains.
In June last year, a survey by Ampere Analysis suggested that Facebook video views were growing so fast that they could catch up with YouTube’s in a few years. Facebook is certainly not making secret of its video ambitions. In an blog post in January 2015, the social network revealed that it had seen, in a period of one year, the number of video posts per person has increased 75% globally and 94% in the US and the number of videos in people’s Facebook growing by 3.6 times over the past year.
The company is yet to reveal how it plans to monetise Live Video but rumours are that Facebook is currently courting celebrities to live stream more, licensing content in a way, gives a glimpse of where this is heading, build viewership first then figure out how to make money of it later. All the same, YouTube will not be the sole player in video content hosting for long.