The Ideal Length For A Facebook Video

Incorporating video into your company’s Facebook marketing strategy is a wise move.

Facebook users are crazy about video.

Over 8 billion videos (or 100 million hours of videos) are watched on Facebook every day (TechCrunch, 2016).

Video has proven over and over again to be more engaging and to convert better than text or picture content.

Videos attract larger audiences than other media. Insivia reports that 59% of executives agree that if both text and video are available on the same topic, they are more likely to choose video.

Plus, promotional videos are also very engaging and super easy to share. According to Responsive Inbound Marketing, social video generates 1,200% more shares than text and images combined.

As it currently stands, video content will out-perform any other type of content you post to your Facebook page.

The allure of social video is not going to slow down – especially on Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO and founder, has even gone on record saying that the future of Facebook is video.

It’s in his best interests to keep Facebook relevant and interesting to its audience, and all research indicates that audiences love video and want more of it.

Facebook’s algorithm favors video content over any other type of content, ensuring your video posts will get more views and more engagement than your text posts, your picture posts, and your link posts.

So the question now becomes… how long should your Facebook videos last?

Well, there are a few things to consider when answering this question…

Audiences typically tend to get bored after about 90 seconds.

What people want and what Facebook wants are actually 2 slightly different things.

If we were to base video length base on audience behavior, you’d keep your videos very short.

According to Wistia, a 4-5 minute video will retain only 60% of its audience by the end. A tighter video running only 1-2 minutes will still have 75% of its audience by the end.

Shorter videos are more likely to be watched to the end.

People usually start to lose interest in an online video around the 90-second mark, so for this reason, it makes sense to keep your Facebook videos short – say, 1-2 minutes long.

Facebook used to favor these shorter videos, but now, with changes in its algorithm, it seems Facebook has shifted its preferences.

We are now entering the era of longer Facebook videos.

Facebook tends to like longer videos.

Facebook’s algorithm now seems to favor longer videos.

But, before you start creating long videos just for the sake of making long videos, be warned – you still need to be captivating.

Making longer videos won’t necessarily benefit your ranking or visibility on Facebook if they fail to engage an audience.

It comes down to “percent completion”.

According to Buffer Social, if people are “watching 50% of a 30-second video and 50% of a 10-minute video, the 10-minute video will rank better in the News Feed than the 30-second video. That’s because the 10-minute video has to be more engaging than the 30-second video to keep people watching for five minutes (vs 15 seconds).”

You could compare this to how Google prefers longer blog articles that are about 2,500 to 3,000 words long, but people tend to prefer shorter articles, that are around 1,000 words long. And, if the longer blog articles fail to engage an audience and exhibit poor dwell times, you’d have better Search Engine Optimization with shorter, more interesting posts.

So, while it’s in your best interests as a business owner to create longer videos for Facebook, you should never lose sight of what’s more important – and that is providing value to your target audience.

Facebook will not tolerate video clickbait

Furthermore, don’t think you can get away with posting fake or super-short videos to cheat the algorithm, either.

You know what I’m talking about, right?

By now, we’ve all fallen for this ruse at some point.

Something looks like a video on Facebook, it seems appealing, so we click on it, only…


It’s clickbait. Perhaps it’s a static image uploaded in a video format that runs for a few seconds. Or maybe it looks like a video, but it’s actually a link to an article.

Nice try.

Maybe these content creators can fool us once in a while (okay, I get fooled quite a bit), but Facebook is on to this.

And, they’re not playing.

These kinds of posts will get demoted by Facebook, and if you are doing this as a common practice on your Facebook business page, you will get decreased visibility and lower engagement.

What it all boils down to, in the end, is just create good content.

Instead of trying to cheat algorithms, strive to be of value.

Then, everyone wins.

Incorporating Facebook videos into your business marketing strategy is a wise idea, as video content continues to dominate Facebook. While most audiences tend to prefer videos that are 1-2 minutes long in length, the Facebook algorithm favors longer videos. However, it is important that you realize that as content creators, it is more important to produce videos that people want to see and that hold their attention, as opposed to producing longer videos just for the sake of being longer. If your videos aren’t engaging, the algorithm will demote them. So, while it is beneficial to post longer videos, it is still more important to post engaging videos.


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