It might not sound very Facebook-ish to introduce tools that allow users to throttle down the number of people who see their posts, but that’s what Facebook announced on Tuesday.
In a release, Facebook announced two new updates that give publishers more control over how their videos are organized and who can see them.
One update is a new video library that gives publishers a streamlined, centralized place to manage their videos.
The other update is an upload feature that gives Page owners the ability to customize video distribution options, including secret videos and the ability to prohibit embeds on third-party sites.
Facebook says that page owners can now:
- Restrict the audience of a video by age and gender (in addition to location and language, which are already available).
- Set an expiration date for a video and retain its insights, even after the video has been removed.
- Publish video directly to the Videos tab for your Page, without distributing to News Feed or Timeline.
- Allow or prohibit video embeds on third-party sites.
Other new features include the ability to use custom thumbnails with your own or suggested images, and video categorization through the use of labels based on interest categories, including Entertainment and News.
The appeal of setting age limits is clear: plenty of videotaped material is inappropriate for youngsters.
Of course, Facebook’s age verification techniques have been notably ineffective.
Its policy is that users have to be over the age of 13, but that is probably more to do with a US law about children’s online privacy than with Facebook thinking it’s not a safe place for kids.
It’s admitted that it has no technical means to age-verify.
The presence of lots of underage kids on Facebook is well-known: reports from 2013 estimated that over 38% of Facebook users under the age of 18 were actually under the age of 13.