Viewer Engagement Increasing for Longer Facebook Videos

For years, Facebook counted any video auto-play that lasted three seconds or longer as a view, which resulted in many publishers producing very short clips. Last year, the social media platform tweaked its News Feed algorithm to favor longer videos, and, with the debut of mid-roll ads, publishers had incentive to post clips longer than 90 seconds. Social video publishing specialist Wochit has collected data from over 200 publishers, including CBS, NBC News and USA Today that proves Facebook’s strategy is working.

Variety reports that, according to Wochit’s Q3 Social Index Report, “videos that are longer than 90 seconds already see close to twice as much engagement as shorter videos,” and are “growing by more than 24 percent quarter-over-quarter.”

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The growth has been continuous: “in Q1 of 2017, only 11.2 percent of all videos posted by Wochit publishers lasted longer than 90 seconds,” but grew to 15.7 percent by Q2 and 19.5 percent by Q3. Facebook viewers are also gravitating to the longer videos, says Wochit, with those “lasting longer than 90 seconds … getting 78.8 percent more shares and 74.6 percent more likes than their shorter counterparts.”

Wochit’s data is “self-selective,” since the company “helps publishers produce videos for and then share … on Facebook,” but “with over 10,000 videos posted to date and close to 850 million views in Q3 alone, Wochit’s data gives does offer an interesting look at what is popular with both publishers and audiences on Facebook.”

Wochit also learned that, “publishers are creating more and more video for Facebook,” with an “average quarter-over-quarter output increase among the monitored publishers” at 48.5 percent in Q3.

“Square videos are shared seven times as often as horizontal videos, but around 60 percent of all videos are still horizontal,” and “audiences in Latin America engage with videos a lot more than their counterparts around the world, watching twice as many videos and sharing them close to 4 times as often on average.”