With more people looking for more content to watch online, Facebook has this week launched a new set of video features which are designed to help creators build audiences for their video content, and promote return viewership.
The new features are aligned with Facebook Watch, and essentially make Facebook Watch features that have thus far only been available to partners accessible to all Page admins.
Here's what's been announced:
The first element is an update to the playlists feature - as per Facebook:
"We've expanded playlists to be a more holistic way to publish new content on Facebook without needing to launch a new Page."
As you can see in this example, playlist names will now appear on related video updates, so users can click/tap through to see the rest of the videos in a thematic collection. Playlists also have a unique URL, so you can share them on or of Facebook to help maximize interest.
Essentially, you want to use playlists to segment your videos into groupings in order promote expanded discovery - if you have several videos on a certain subject, putting them into a dedicated playlist will make them easier to showcase as a group.
Facebook also notes that organizing your videos into playlists will better enable its systems to suggest related content to viewers, "increasing the likelihood that your audiences discover and watch multiple videos from your playlists and series".
Another key benefit of playlists is that they present your content in the order that you dictate, helping to guide users through your related updates.
Page managers can create, manage, edit, and reorder playlists within Creator Studio.
Facebook is also adding an expansion of playlists called 'Series', which is more geared towards scripted, episodic content.
As per Facebook:
"Series allow you to organize your content into episodes, with the flexibility to show episodes in chronological order (to support a narrative story arc across multiple episodes), as well as add seasons, brand logos (showmarks), and trailers."
Essentially, it's a juiced-up version of playlists, with additional branding and promotional elements to help maximize viewership, How valuable that is for regular video creators is hard to say, but it may provide more ways to group and promote your content, depending on the format and style you choose in your presentation.
And there's also this:
"When clicking on your series from your Page, News Feed Unit, or Videos Tab, users are taken to a list-view of all your episodes, where they can easily navigate between season and episodes. They can also continue watching where they left off and view your trailers from this view."
Which leads into the next update:
New Videos Tab
Facebook's also launching a new Videos tab for Pages, which will put more focus on playlists and series listings by separating your videos into groups.
As you can see in the first image, the new tab will also make it easier for people to follow your Page, and upgrade their video notification settings to get alerts about new video uploads.
Updates to Bulk Uploader
Finally, Facebook's also rolling out an update to its bulk uploader for videos, which will now facilitate the upload of up to 50 videos to one page in a single action.
Facebook will also soon be adding new editing tools within bulk uploader which will enable users to implement actions on videos in bulk, including adding multiple videos to series and playlists, enabling rights protection, adding in ads, auto-captions and more.
There's a heap to take in, and there;'s a lot more technical information available on each update within Facebook's announcement post. All of these new tools and updates are available within Creator Studio, but if you are looking to make best use of them, I would urge you to check out the specific processes and system details via Facebook's official guide.
Given the increases in viewership for video content, it makes sense for Facebook to provide pathways into Facebook Watch for regular creators. By funneling more content into Watch, it can use the related promotion by each Page to boost Watch discovery, thereby building its audience for its dedicated video platform, and making it a more compelling content destination.
Facebook Watch hasn't become the YouTube competitor Facebook initially envisioned just yet, but it could still get there, and by facilitating the creation of more video series, it will greatly expand the content experience through the offering.