Facebook wants to be more secure, and not penalize video shares

Your favourite social media network is making some changes, again. There is now a new way to access your Facebook account, and some changes to the algorithms that push content to your newsfeed


A file photo of Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Reuters
A file photo of Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Reuters

To stay ahead of the curve and blunt any potential phishing scams, Facebook has added a new way to log in to your account, using security keys. This is done to negate the phishing scams that target user passwords, irrespective of whether they access the social network from their phone or PC.

In the web security scheme of things, these keys are the partly physical and partly virtual equivalent of a physical key you may use to unlock a door. Security keys take that second step authentication a step further—this hardware will hold only the details of your account, which means that the person in possession of this key as well as the account password will only be able to access a particular Facebook account.

Read more: Facebook’s changing

With security keys, you will be able to access Facebook by simply tapping the physical key plugged into your computing device at the time, to further authenticate your identity after punching in the password.

At present, security keys are compatible with the Chrome and Opera web browsers, and with near field communication (NFC) compatible Android smartphones. This will require you to purchase a physical security key device, the kind made by Yubico (prices start $18), and they also support more services such as Gmail and Dropbox for similar security key logins.

The other big change is with the algorithms that define what videos show up on your timeline. Till now, Facebook gauged metrics such as how long a video is watched, whether users choose to turn on sound while watching a video, and if users open the video in full screen. Now, more weightage is being given to how long a video is watched, also known as “percentage completion”.

This is to avoid penalizing longer duration videos that people would otherwise share on Facebook. While this may not change the timeline for most users, but if you have been watching longer duration videos on the social media platform, Facebook will now be able to push more for your viewing. This change is being rolled out gradually, and will impact user timelines over the coming weeks.

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