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Aug. 10, 2016, 1 p.m.
Audience & Social
LINK: media.fb.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Ricardo Bilton   |   August 10, 2016

With video, one of the advantages Facebook has over TV and cable networks is the sheer scale of data it can collect about who is watching what, how much of it they watch, and what resonates most.

Facebook said today that it’s opening up more of that video data to publishers on the site. Its stable of video metrics now includes viewer demographics, which will let creators get a better idea of the kinds of people watching their videos (broken out by age and gender) as well as where, generally, those viewers live. That’s a big deal for a site such as BuzzFeed, which has already used similar kinds of demographic data to drive its video strategy. Other publishers will now be able to put it to good use as well.

Facebook is also offering more insight into how interested people are while watching live video. Publishers will now be able to see at which points viewers are most engaged, and which moments were compelling enough to encourage people to share, like, and comment.

Another noteworthy addition: a new heatmap feature that will let publishers of 360º videos see where viewers spend the most of their time watching: The most-viewed parts of the video will appear hotter, while the less interesting bits will be colder. Facebook is opening that feature up to any video posted since April that has at least 50,000 views.

The additions are a part of Facebook’s gradual improvement of its video analytics offerings, which, the company says, has been driven by what publishers say they want to see. Facebook already offers publishers data on how many viewers get past the 10-second mark and, for live video, the peak number of concurrent viewers.

Facebook’s motivation in giving publishers more in-depth video data is self-serving: If publishers have more insight into how their videos are resonating (or not resonating) they can create more videos that more people will want to see. The same goes for marketers, who are also always looking for more data-driven justification for investing in new platforms. That ultimately means more lucrative video ad revenue for Facebook itself.

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