Meta shares how its video distribution algorithm works

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Meta has published an overview of factors for its video distribution algorithms. It includes the elements that it considers on how far video posts will reach.


This element aligns with Meta’s drive to reinforce original creators. It also provides more potential for exposure in its apps.

“Original videos reflect the unique voice and value of the content creator. They are distinctive and are produced in a manner that’s never been made before. We prioritize original video to reward the hard work of crafting authentic content,” explains Meta.

Capture and Retain Attention

Meta says this second element is for videos that capture and retain the audience’s attention. It also looks for videos that motivate people to finish the clip. It all results to better distribution.

“Retention is one of the indicators of how well the content was received by the audience – a slow and gradual decline in the audienceretention graph can show that the topic and structure of the video match well with what your audience wants to see, while an early drop off may mean that the content isn’t what the viewer expected,” adds Meta.

While there’s a focus on retention, Meta says content length is not key.

“Content should only be as long as it needs to be so that it is relatable and engaging and keeps the audience interested for the entire duration,” says Meta.

Meta also suggests adding burned-in captions for better retention across devices.

Loyalty and Intent

The next key element puts emphasis on repeat viewership.

“When people regularly come back to view an account’s videos, we take it as a strong, positive signal for distribution. This is especially true when we see that people actively search for your content or seek it out on video-first destinations like Facebook Watch or directly on your account,” explains Meta.

Meta suggests bonus content can help keep fans engaged. It starts with propping up interest and using a long-form storytelling approach.

The company advises creators to optimize their content for Facebook search.

“This includes writing clear titles, descriptions for your posts, and adding a few relevant tags. This can help more people see your content, both via Search results and via the recommended videos that we show to people in Feed and in Facebook Watch,” adds Meta.


The final element talks about engagement from the likes of Likes, Shares, Comments.

“We prioritize content that sparks conversations and meaningful interactions between real people. To do this, we increase distribution for videos that inspire friend-to-friend or person-to-person interactions,” explains Meta.

Meta also advises common missteps that reduce video distribution:

  • Feel more like slideshows – avoid static images
  • Employ manufactured sharing behaviors – Examples of this are when an account repeatedly shares content from another Page with which they have no direct connection, and the content is not related to any theme of their Page.
  • Resort to baiting tactics – Be organic. Never push people to like, share or comment on content solely to increase following.
  • Don’t post ’Watchbait’ – Examples of this are YouTube thumbnails showing an emotional celebrity or an amazed presenter from a frame in the video that does not really exist.
  • Don’t post Clickbait – Don’t omit key information from a headline intentionally, or exaggerate the details of a story.

Read Meta’s full video distribution overview here.

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Author: Francis Rey

Francis is a voracious reader and prolific writer. He has been writing about social media and technology for more than 10 years. During off hours, he relishes moments with his wife and daughter.

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