In 2015, Facebook announced globally people were posting 75% more videos to Facebook than they did in 2014, and in the US that number is even higher, where people are posting 94% more videos to Facebook, according to AdvertsingAge. Also in 2015, Facebook announced their platform was generating 8 billion video views per day, according to Business Insider.
Those are truly astonishing numbers across the board. But the million dollar question many people find themselves asking is what is the ideal length for a Facebook video?
With Facebook emerging as a major rival to YouTube, it of course makes sense to jump on the video bandwagon and take full advantage of the power of Facebook videos. But it's natural to want to make your video the perfect length in hopes of it finding the largest audience possible.
In 2014, in regards to improving video ranking, Facebook announced "The improvement we are making today considers whether someone has watched a video and for how long they watched it." So a natural response would be to keep your videos short, which was backed up by a 2015 article from Tubular Insights, who found "As for optimal video length, as duration increases, the likelihood of high level engagement goes down on Facebook, where YouTube is just the opposite."
But things have changed since then, thanks in part to the Average % Completion stat, which Facebook defines as "The portion of the video (on a percentage basis) that is viewed in an average watch session."
According to Recode, while Facebook will still credit videos with a view after 3 seconds, the longer a video is watched and able to retain an audience, the more likely Facebook will be to promote that video. So in essence, the Average % Completion stat is now more valuable to longer videos than shorter videos, which marks a significant shift in how Facebook treats videos compared to how they did a few years ago when shorter videos made a bigger impact on video ranking.
So it is now more important than ever to keep an eye on your Average % Completion stat to monitor how the videos you're sharing are performing so you can make adjustments as needed. This can be done directly on Facebook by using your Page's Insights or Publishing Tools tabs, or within your Social Report system by going to Channels then Facebook then Videos.