Facebook video views jump after auto-play feature tweak

Social media stalwart Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) is making itself seen in the online video space. The website is serving about 1 billion videos per day to its members, and thanks to its ability to make a video go viral quickly, has seen a big jump in views since changing the way videos are displayed in news feeds last year.

The New York Times noted that Facebook's "ability to use social connections to make content popular quickly, along with changes the social network has made to its news feed to showcase video better, have helped fuel rapid growth in the amount of video viewed on the service over the last year."

Marketers have already taken notice and are using Facebook as a primary strategy to quickly circulate videos, such as music videos from Beyonce and Weird Al.

A billion views a day is only a fraction of what YouTube serves, NYT noted. Google's ubiquitous video service averages 6 billion hours of video viewing per month, with more than 1 billion unique users per month. Facebook has about 1.3 billion members worldwide.

And Facebook's video views are, of course, not without controversy. After users complained that the auto-play feature in news feed videos was eating up their mobile phones' data allowance, Facebook made changes to the amount of data the videos use and added a Wi-Fi only option. It also added a video ranking system that determines whether a user is actually watching a video.

Will video continue to evolve on Facebook? Hard to say: At the moment, the service takes in no revenue from video feeds, the NYT article said. However, Facebook noted that its users engage more with video than other types of posts on the website.

For more:
- The New York Times has this story
- Mashable has this story

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