Now users will be able to embed videos directly on their site without its supporting post on Facebook. Facebook also has a beta test that enables comments on publishers’ sites to sync to their Facebook Page and vice versa.
Facebook announced the newly launched features at its F8 developers conference in San Francisco.
If previously you wanted to embed video on your site, you had to embed the entire Facebook post containing the video. So like Twitter, Facebook is enabling YouTube-like video embedding. That will please the publishers, journalists and the creators of videos who should see greater distribution of their content. It should also increase the number of Facebook video views, which are already averaging 3 billion a day according to the social network.
The update to the comment plugin will affect fewer publishers, but it can prove to be a major development. At launch in 2011 and until now, the comment plugin gave publishers the ability to host a Facebook powered discussion board on their site, but the conversation there is largely affected. Commenters are given the ability to post comments on their News Feed, but any conversation on a site’s Facebook Page is separate from the discussion going on within the comment plugin.
Now publishers will have the option to mirror those conversations. The discussion thread from any link posted on a site’s Facebook Page will automatically pull in comments from the plugin and vice versa.
“The value here is we can unify the conversation in multiple places,” said Simon Cross, a product manager on Facebook’s platform team. “We think that’s going to increase engagement on your website because there will be more comments there.”
The new feature is being rolled out in the next few weeks as a beta test with six publishers: BET, NHL, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Elite Daily and Fox Sports.
Read more about the comment plugin here.
Facebook also has announced updates to its video API to give publishers more control over how they upload and display native video. The API has been made available to 10 partners — Anvato, Brightcove, Fullscreen, Grabyo, Kaltura, NowThis, SocialFlow, Spredfast, Vimond and WhipClip — so its features are currently available only to customers of those companies. Facebook has plans to push many of the features to the standard UI for Pages, said Maher Saba, Facebook’s director of video engineering.
Among the new features:
- The ability to restrict audience of a video by age, gender and location
- Count video views and other metrics
- Raising the size limit of video uploads to 1.5 GB (or about 45 minutes per clip)
- Publish directly to a Page without distributing in News Feed
- Set an expiration date for a video and retain insights after takedown (currently in beta)
- Manage featured videos and playlists for a Page
- Add custom thumbnails for videos
- Enable subtitles in multiple locales
- Ensure faster, more reliable uploads with resumable uploading
- Subscribe to real-time updates during video encoding process