Facebook until recently hasn’t been a place most businesses housed videos. Videos always seemed to be the step child to photos on Facebook. The analytics for videos were lacking for in depth understand of how your users were watching your videos.
This past year at f8, Facebook has put effort into beefing up their video services. They were gearing up to take on YouTube as video service. Notice I said service not hosting. They have released a lot new features to make your video experience better on Facebook.
The upload process as opposed to YouTube has been wonky as far as I am concerned. There was no way to customize the process at all. Meaning you couldn’t set key words, pick a thumbnail or put in links to drive traffic.
New Services offered now are:
- Secret Videos – This is a welcome change to the video. This I similar to Unlisted on YouTube. Only those with the link can view the video. This comes in handy when you need approvals for a video. Everyone can view it and approve before it goes live.
- Restrict Embedding – Facebook lacked an embed feature. After f8 it was to be added but there are times when you don’t want third parties to embed the video. You can now restrict embedding.
- Restrictions – Currently available through Facebook you can restrict a video by age and sex.
- Video Expiration – This is an interesting feature and one I have yet to see on YouTube. An expiration date can be set and a video will be deleted. However, the insights (analytics) will remain in your account. On YouTube if you delete a video your analytics are gone for the video.
- Videos Tab – If you have a lot of videos to upload but don’t want to over load your fans. There is an option to push them directly to the video tab and not clutter your news feed. You can always share them on your page later! This is great for older videos you want to upload.
- Add Custom Thumbnails – This is one of the most welcome features. The auto selection can do a good job at selecting a thumbnail. There are times you want a specific image to show. Now you can select an alternative image and save it.
- Video Labels – Labels let you tag videos by category. This will feature in on video discovery by the general public on Facebook.
New Video Library
- Edit Video Info – This allows you to change subtitles and choose a new thumbnail
- Distribution options – You can edit your metadata after upload. This will include publishing to the newsfeed and restricting embedding
- Search – Search and filter your videos easier than before. This can be done by category, title and more.
- Secret Video Management – View and manage all you secret videos in one place.
How Does this Affect Your Business: All of these features is making Facebook a good place to host videos now. It will allow companies to reach a different audience than YouTube. Should you stop posting to YouTube? Absolutely not but hosting to both will increase your reach and views of videos. There are many people who do not regularly go to YouTube and vice versa.
These service will be rolling out across Facebook over the next few weeks. No timelines given when individual pages will be getting the new video features. Keep checking your page and start uploading videos!