Facebook wants you to watch videos but most users aren't happy

Users say the social networking giant is pushing videos on their timeline at the cost of updates from friends. The company, however, says the platform reflects what you follow, what you like and what you share.

BuzzInContent Bureau
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As Facebook tries hard to overtake YouTube to become the largest video platform, the traditional text articles are finding little space on the social network.

The company believes video is the megatrend and has put video first across their family of apps, mainly to change the consumption behaviour of users by forcing videos on the timeline, even if users don’t want to watch them. These videos appear either under the tag ‘popular across Facebook’ or videos shared by friends.

Although there is an option to ‘hide post to see fewer posts like this’, users complain that the algorithm is not allowing the function to work. Many users of the social networking platform find this explosion of video content ‘irritating’ and of ‘no use’. Video content demands more attention and supposedly is a bigger engaging medium, but this trend has gravitated users to watch video content unnecessarily.

Senior journalist Prabhat Dabral took to Facebook to express his concern over the rare updates he finds from his friends, and has contemplated leaving the platform.

His status:

Paresh Rajwat, Head of Product for Video, Facebook, told BuzzInContent.com, “Facebook is known basically as a platform for catching up with friends and over the time it becomes a habit. Moreover, the platform is personalised. Everyone can change the settings to whichever way they want to. The platform reflects what you follow, what you like, what you share.”

“Video in itself is exploding in India. And it is because of the ecosystem that has been formed, the number of smart phones has increased and availability of data has increased. This is the way people have started consuming content. Facebook initially had started with posts, which had text. Now increasingly it has become videos. If you are getting too much of notifications, it means you are someway engaged with those users or content,” said Saket Jha Saurabh, India Head for Entertainment Partnerships, Facebook.

Both Rajwat and Saurabh hosted India's first Facebook 'Creator Day' to support Indian publishers and creators build a community of passionate fans and earn money with new monetisation tools that it launched for video creators.

The platform has introduced short ad breaks before or during qualifying videos for creators in India to get a share of the revenue from the video ads shown to the viewer. Ad breaks are available for eligible partners in Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Malayalam and English. The two (creator and brand) would have 55-45 share in revenue. Apart from this, Facebook introduced Brand Collabs Manager to help brands find creators to collaborate for branded content opportunities on the platform. It will be available in India in 2019.

“The biggest trend that the Indian digital industry has witnessed in consumer behaviour is rapid growth in adoption of video. We're seeing consumer videos exploding on our platform and today, video has become one of the biggest drivers of engagement growth on Facebook. Besides community content, where people share their experiences, we are a platform where professional content creators come to find an audience and also earn money,” said Rajwat.

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