In an ongoing effort to declutter its News Feed, Facebook (s fb) announced Monday that it has updated its algorithms to better rank and surface videos. The new system will help those who watch lots of video on Facebook receive more relevant content higher up in their feed, while allowing those annoyed by the videos to see fewer videos over time.
Facebook has taken a particular interest in video since it launched its own native Premium Video Ads earlier this year, and more videos have been appearing in the News Feed as a result. That tactic seems to be paying off: according to the company, twice as many people watch video on Facebook today as they did six months ago.
The biggest change is that Facebook will now track how long a user watches a specific video, adding it other factors such as likes, comments and shares. Those who regularly skip videos will see fewer of them overall, and those who do watch will surface similar content. For example, if a user tends to watch more from a Page that offers puppy videos and fewer from a Page that offers videos of skateboards, Facebook will send more from the Page with cute animal videos to the top of the Feed and bury the Page with the skateboards further in the rankings. According to the company, this method resulted in more users watching video over time.
This change will only affect videos uploaded directly to Facebook by users and page owners — links to videos from other sites such as YouTube(s GOOG) are already subject to a similar algorithm.