On Tuesday, Facebook announced two new updates to their video upload system that will give advertisers and publishers more control over how their videos are distributed and shared.

In addition to location and language customisation options it already offers, the social network now also allows video publishers to refine their audience by age and gender. The enhanced Facebook Video API also comes with several new features, including the ability to:

  • Set an expiration date for a video and retain its insights even after it has been removed
  • Allow or prohibit video embeds on third-party sites
  • Add custom thumbnail for videos, using your own image or a suggested image
  • Label videos based on interest categories, e.g. Entertainment, News, etc.
  • House videos under a “videos” tab separate from the News Feed
  • Publish “secret videos”

According to its blog post, “Secret videos give Page owners the ability to upload videos that are accessible only via a direct URL, but which are not searchable for people on Facebook. This is useful for publishers who want to host videos on Facebook, embed them on third-party sites or share them with anyone who has the URL, without posting them anywhere else on Facebook.”

New Video Gallery

Facebook’s new Video Library offers a centralised platform for organising and updating an entire library of videos. It allows page owners to manage distribution options for their videos as well as making changes on a per-video basis or in bulk. Publishers can access this tool through the Publishing Tools tab on their Page.

The news features, which will be rolling out in the coming weeks, seem to further Facebook’s mission to squeeze more money out of its lucrative video business. Earlier this month, the company has launched new types of video ads that are unlike YouTube’s annoying pre-roll ads.

It’s clear Facebook is taking aim at YouTube and trying to lure advertisers and media companies into publishing their videos on its pages. With its 1.44 billion user base and massive database of user information, it is quickly becoming a real threat to the largest video-sharing platform owner by Google.