Facebook, Online Videos, and You

August 6, 2015 § Leave a comment

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I read this article recently about Facebook and video.

It talks about how Facebook’s algorithm strongly favors “native” video (that’s video uploaded directly to Facebook, not a link to video on a separate site like YouTube) and how that’s resulted in videos being ripped off of YouTube and posted by other folks in such a way that robs the original creators of both credit and income.  It also talks about how Facebook counts views and what that means for online content.  Spoiler alert: it’s not great news.

As a creator, it’s frustrating because being a “little guy” was already tough and this makes it all tougher.  As an individual Facebook user and YouTube viewer, I’m not excited about what content may be dropped from my feed because of the algorithm.  Sure I’m not psyched about “overly promotional” content in my feed (Facebook’s purported reason for the change), but I also don’t want to miss out on cool, independent content because the creators don’t have a big budget to advertise on Facebook.

On the one hand: Facebook is free, so what right do we have to complain?  On the other hand: Facebook has become so culturally central that it isn’t exactly optional any more.

If you’re on Facebook and/or you ever look at videos on YouTube, it’s worth a read.

The video content itself may remain unchanged, but the extent to which content is pushed or buried and credited or not credited has an impact on viewers (you. me. us.) as well as the creators.  We are savvier consumers of media when we understand these machinations.

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