Facebook expands video ambitions with new recommendation feature

By Silva Gentchev on Jul 11 2014 at 9:00 AM

On the heels of its recent LiveRail acquisition, Facebook is trying to find more ways to help users discover and watch more video on the site. The social media giant has begun testing a new feature in its iOS app that recommends organic, user-generated videos uploaded in a carousel under the header, “More From >>”. No word on whether they have begun manipulating our emotions by recommending cute dog videos yet.

So far, this is only for user-generated video organic to the site, and only includes a trial set of users for now. Shortly after it was discovered, Facebook confirmed the updated mobile player by saying “this is a new feature we are testing on mobile to help people find more videos they might be interested in.”

This holds a lot of interesting potential into how Facebook is going to start leveraging video, and especially user-generated content in the future. Since this is only for user videos that were generated on Facebook, we won’t be seeing any YouTube, Vimeo or Vine cross-promotions.

With this, Facebook is making a direct play to try to encourage their users to create content directly in the platform, and then upload it to their followers. And the more that people create, the more people see, and the longer people stay on the social network. But, what’s the user incentive to restrict their uploads to Facebook first?

It is likely that this will eventually transform into a platform for brands offering exclusive video content only on Facebook, or for encouraging their fans to share original videos as part of a campaign.

Vine and Instagram already are the leaders in brand UGC promotions, but Facebook has not been able to take a foothold here. If you need your memory jogged, just look at this Vine campaign launched by the Nissan Versa team, encouraging fans to create a video with a paper cutout of the Versa.

If brands can tap into and create original content on Facebook, this new feature has a lot of potential in their quest to reach more viewers, fans and ultimately -- likes.

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