How Facebook’s New Video Tools Will Impact PR

facebook videoFacebook's quest to grow its video sharing capabilities took a new turn this week, as the social media giant introduced new customization and control tools for video publishers.

Facebook page owners now have the ability to restrict the audience of videos by age and gender, set expiration dates for videos, label videos based on interest categories and make "secret" videos that are accessible only via a direct URL, among other new features.

"We're building tools to help video publishers grow their businesses on Facebook," the company wrote in a blog post detailing the changes. "We're excited to announce new updates that give publishers more control over how their videos are organized and shared."

For publishers, advertisers and PR professionals, these updates will allow a greater level of sophistication in the video upload and sharing process.

The new "secret" video option is useful for content publishers that want to host their videos on Facebook and embed them on third-party sites without posting them anywhere else on Facebook. Labeling videos based on interest categories activates Facebook's massive cache of user data, helping communicators reach people with content that will interest them. Age and gender restriction options will further help publishers target videos to the right groups of people.

The incorporation of these updates—almost all of which have been available to YouTube users for a while—shows that Facebook is serious about becoming bona fide a video-sharing platform. Rivalries aside, the changes make it easier for Facebook users to perform social media's primary task—deliver content to people who have a displayed interest in it.

Attend PR News' Big 4 Conference at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco on Aug. 6 and learn more about using Facebook for your brand with case studies from Derekh Froude of Edelman, Jen Martin Hall of Sharecare and Brenda Weigel of Aflac.

Follow Brian Greene on Twitter: @bw_greene