Facebook knows which videos you like without you even telling it


Facebook has always tried to understand what you like and don’t like without you even having to tell it. That’s why the company recently updated its data collection for videos so that the information that’s gathered can be used to determine which videos you like, which will then determine which videos Facebook recommends. It does this is a number of clever ways, none of which require any direct effort on your part. 

The next time you make a video full screen or turn the volume all the way up, Facebook will notice. In a blog post on Monday, Facebook announced a few changes to the types of data they collect from videos in the news feed so they can offer a tailor-made experience and boost views. After reviewing user feedback, Facebook discovered that often people will watch a video or read a post, and find it meaningful, but won’t like, comment or share it. Due to this, the site now tracks the amount of time spent on a certain post in comparison to other content in the feed. Facebook also learned how we really view videos — muted because we’re at work or our significant other is sleeping and full screen if we like the video- – even if we don’t actually click the “Like” button. The update uses this data to display other, more likeable, videos higher in the feed, and to avoid showing videos the person doesn’t want to watch. Earlier in June, Facebook’s video traffic hit 4 billion daily views, a number that contends with YouTube, so there is high incentive to understand which videos people want to see and set those videos in a tailored news feed. With this update, content creators won’t be able to get by just flooding Facebook with videos. The clips will have to be an interesting watch to get big view numbers.

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