On Tuesday, Facebook announced that it is altering its News Feed algorithm to make Live videos appear higher.
"News Feed is made up of posts from the friends and Pages you've connected to. These posts can be status updates, photos, videos, links and now, Facebook Live videos," said Vibhi Kant, Product Manager and Jie Xu, Software Engineer, in a blog post. Facebook Live hit iOS in December 2015 and, last week, Facebook started rolling out the feature to Android in the US. Since its launch, the feature has become more and more popular as more users started watching and creating live videos. "Now that more and more people are watching Live videos, we are considering Live Videos as a new content type – different from normal videos – and learning how to rank them for people in News Feed," said Facebook. "As a first step, we are making a small update to News Feed so that Facebook Live videos are more likely to appear higher in News Feed when those videos are actually live."
In other news, Facebook is reportedly looking for celebrities for Live videos and may pay those who use the feature. The video feature initially launched for celebrities or "influencers" before rolling out to more users and now Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is in Los Angeles this week, reportedly talking up the new pitch. According to Re/code's sources, Sandberg is looking to sign up about 100 test subjects to regularly use Live and will give a subset of the group some sort of payment for their participation. In a statement on the matter, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed that the company is working with "support partners" and will explore "potential monetization models."
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