A resource for news innovators powered by American Press Institute
Complexity: Beginner
Article Complexity Bar Graph

How to hack Facebook reach with ‘video’

From broadcasting still images on Facebook Live to posting GIFs as video files, these techniques show how easy it is to game the system – and how quickly the quality of online video storytelling is plummeting. Decide for yourself whether to adopt these tricks.

A handful of hacks to either benefit or game the Facebook algorithm, depending on your perspective. For example:

Automation: Video doesn’t have to be video at all. Like the polls and countdown clocks, it can be a series of photos that are just strung together and overlaid with text and motion graphics. Two leading vendors, Wochit and Wibbitz, are helping many publishers make video on the cheap with their automation tools. Using automation, Gannett’s USA Today Sports Media Group can cut the time it takes a text editor to make a video out of still images with graphics aimed at social users to 30 minutes from hours, said Chris Pirrone, gm of sports digital properties.

“The ROI on digital production is lower,” he said. “For the longest time, you needed a video team to use final cut and it was costly to create video.” With automation tools, he said, “You don’t need to have a dedicated video production team to create engaging video.”