Screenshot of @topgold's Facebook video.
WHILE HEARING MOANING from brands and marketing teams after Facebook changed its newsfeed algorithm, I noticed videos I upload to Facebook quickly ramp up to more views than I have real friends. The screenshot shows what happened on a lazy Sunday morning after I uploaded a 10-minute newsround to Facebook.
I've hyperlinked to the Facebook video but you may need to log into Facebook to see it play. There's an audio clip from below.
The big reason the video notched up more than 100 views within five hours is because it was shared and earned comments. Both of those acts boosted the signal of the video clip beyond what I could have achieved through advertising it.
The second reason I earned views is because I suspect most of the people who accepted my Friend Request never adjusted the rate of notifications coming from my account. They just kept me as a "friend" with notifications "on" and that means I can pollute their newfeeds with everything I manually add to my status updates.
Robert Scoble makes good points about Facebook's new algorithm. I've followed his advice in several ways.
1. I put my closest connections into lists of "Friends" or "Close Friends" and if I want to read something from anybody else, I make them an "Acquaintance".
2. I can mute somebody by keeping them off these lists or by putting them onto a list I create.
3. I turn off notifications for dozens of the 819 friends I've made on Facebook.
4. I keep the total number of Facebook "friends" below 1000.
5. I add a comment to a Facebook thread when I want to keep getting notifications about the topic of the thread.
As a result of doing these things, I rarely hear anything about a product launch, special giveaway or event.
I always add a new contact to a specific list or annotate them with friend or acquaintance privileges, with or without notification enabled.
This is important because before the end of May, I expect to start seeing full articles from the New York Times, Buzzfeed, and National Geographic (articles and videos) directly in my Facebook newsfeed. It's called Instant Articles and it comes alongside a new advertising model. Instant Articles ensures news articles can be read and videos played without leaving Facebook. When this happens, I may need to elevate the friendship level of some of the people I follow.
For the moment, I'm amazed at the speed at which I can create and upload a video directly from my Lumia handset to Facebook. As long as I keep the HD videos around five minutes in length, the process is quick over the 4G networks where I live and it happens in the background on the handset. The video referenced in this blog post was more than 10 minutes long and its 1.05 GB weight did not upload over my cellular data network. It needed 22 minutes to upload on my home's wifi. Nonetheless, its resolution and semi-permanence is miles ahead of the ephemeral Periscope footage I see scattered across Twitter.
Count me as a convert to the Facebook video generation. More than four billion videos are uploaded to Facebook every day. They cue up and play directly on mobile handsets. I believe both the uploading and the video streaming service have made Facebook's news feed a place where more mainstream networks will use as their first port of call.
[Bernie Goldbach teaches social media in the Limerick School of Art & Design and has used Facebook since 2005.]