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Facebook Updates Video Options & Tools
By: Jennifer Graber
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Facebook isn’t always known for putting control in the hands of its users. For example, the algorithm for our news feed changes more than a politician’s loyalty, and it seems with every update the semblance of control we have dwindles. Our settings are reset, and controls are hidden deep within Facebook like the lost city of Atlantis. However, the social media behemoth has recently put out a video update that many can get on board with — at least page administrators can.

The latest video update from Facebook has it looking “more like YouTube.” Page admins have been granted a great deal more control over video publishing, and associated features. One of the biggest components of the update is that pages can now release secret videos. Secret videos are accessible only through a dedicated, direct URL. These URLs cannot be searched for via Facebook by other users, but allow for pages to embed or host videos.

Another feature from Facebook’s latest update is the ability to “set an expiration date for a video” while still retaining its “insights.” This is probably one of my favorite features in the update. By allowing the creation of expiration dates you open a world of possibilities. Pages can make special marketing opportunities with a strong sense of urgency. Customers and followers won’t want to miss out on something special or exclusive. Also, pages can potentially better control their content relevancy. Haven’t we all seen those posts and videos that people think are new but are really from four years ago? And yet they keep getting shared?

Video audience restriction is another part from Facebook’s latest changes. Page admins can now also limit, or control, their audiences by age or gender. This particular feature allows the admins to target video content to certain age groups, or gender. This updated feature comes at a time when gender equality is on the forefront of our minds. So, it can leap into treacherous territory. But, let’s face it — there are certain types of videos that are not appropriate for all ages or genders. For instance, alcohol videos should be targeted to the over-21 crowd, and I’m guessing most men are not all that interested in videos from feminine hygiene brands.

Some of the other updates from Facebook’s latest release include publishing direct to a specific tab, rather than the news feed or timeline. Also, the latest update includes allowing or prohibiting third-party video embedding, thumbnail customization, and video category labeling.

All of these features point to greater customization and targeting. Brands will have a better chance at their videos being seen by exactly who they’re meant for, instead of just throwing the video out there to the masses when it really needs to be seen by 35-year-old men who like to travel and read. I’ll admit I’m generally not a fan of updates from Facebook, but this video options update is pretty good. I can see it making an impact for brands. Now, if Facebook would only give a greater amount of control beyond the videos, we’d be in business.

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About the Author
Jennifer Graber is a Business Development Manager and marketing enthusiast. Her specific interests include branding, consumer behavior, development, integrated marketing communications, and new & social media.
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