Facebook adds traffic counts to videos

New tool underscores social media giant’s ongoing commitment to video

Ever wonder how many people watched the Ice Bucket Challenge video you posted on Facebook? The social service has introduced a new update that lets users know how many views its video posts receive.

Beginning this week, public videos will feature a view counter – a tool used to great success by YouTube – that Facebook says will help users discover new, popular videos.

Video has become a key area of focus for the social media giant, with views growing by more than 50% between May and July. The company says it has been averaging more than 1 billion video views per day since June.

Facebook has also adopted a mobile-first approach to video, a strategy justified by the fact that 65% of all video views now come via that platform.

The latest additions follow the 2013 introduction of a customizable auto-play feature that automatically starts videos as users scroll through their news feed. Settings for video playback are customizable for both mobile and web.

Video ranking in users’ news feed was also improved in June in order to show users videos that are relevant and interesting. Facebook is also testing a new mobile feature that shows users related videos when they finish watching.

Acknowledging the growing use of video by media organizations and public figures, Facebook has also introduced more detailed metrics and tools for publishers. One of the new introductions is Call to Action, which enables publishers to invite users to visit a destination, such as a website, after the video ends to learn more, watch more or make a purchase.

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