Suraj Ramnath

"You don't always need to spend money; organic content has a lot of power": Facebook's Saurabh Doshi

Saurabh Doshi, head of media partnerships at Facebook, discussed the impact of social media and digital video on one another, at vdonxt asia 2017.

On day two of vdonxt asia 2017, Saurabh Doshi, head - content and media partnerships, India and South Asia, Facebook, spoke about "How video is impacting social media and vice versa", moderated by Janine Stein, editorial director, ContentAsia.

Stein started the session by asking Doshi to share the algorithm of Facebook. Doshi said, "Technology in the digital world changes a lot and it is not easy, so we have to keep working on the algorithm. Starting from 2006 to 2016 on Facebook, a lot of people are on the platform and posting and a lot of content is being put up on the platform. However, users time is the same so what we had to do is device an algorithm, to show the most relevant content."

"You don't always need to spend money; organic content has a lot of power": Facebook's Saurabh Doshi
Doshi added, "There is a lot of content that wants to come to your feed and so we want to try and give the 10 best pieces of content through the day, which at the end of the day when you are having dinner with your family those things you are likely to discuss. That's our objective and that's how the algorithm works. We want to prioritise for you, friends and family or pages that you follow and keep you connected with your closest circle."

Stein went on to ask Doshi if there is any secret sauce to maximise the opportunity to see the message. Doshi said, "I wish I knew it. There are a lot of variables that go into this. From a content creator's perspective, I would need to understand what my content is and what's the user base I can reach. There are detailed analytics available e.g. at what time your users come online and their age. It is a very broad question but you have to look into insights and content and optimise for the right audience. It is not about reaching the volumes but about reaching the right ones."

Stein asked Doshi about how movies, sports and news companies are using Facebook effectively and why is it mirroring the TV space so closely. Doshi said, "Facebook started off as an idea to connect friends and family and that remains our core. However there is also a need of information and be entertained and these form our values.

There is always an intersection of someone coming and watching friends and family content, then see something happening around themselves like Hindi movies trailer that one wants to talk about and the third intersection is my mother has shared a news story so whether it is a media story or a friend's story. The baseline is that we are still a very strong friend network but when users come to the platform, they have the desire to get into information & entertainment so it is a great opportunity for movies or TV to leverage this in many ways such as, movies releasing behind-the-scenes footage on the platform."

Stein then mentioned about talks of how much one should spend to promote their videos and asked Doshi on what he reckons people should do. He said, "It is purely dependent on what an individual company wants to spend and how many users they want to reach. We will not tell anyone to spend money to reach people. I personally believe that organic content has enough power to reach people. If one has a good content, then word of mouth certainly helps without spending. There are companies that spend nothing and still get million of views, so it is really about understanding the user and creating good content."

Event partners include: Adobe (Presented By), Viu (Powered By), Akamai (Technology Partner), Voot (Digital Partner), EY (Knowledge Partner), Unruly (Video Partner), Dropbox Business (Collaboration Partner), Web Talkies (Entertainment Partner), (New Age Digital Partner), Culture Machine (Content Partner), 24 Frames Digital (Streaming Partner), (Blogging Partner), NDTV Prime (TV Partner), Content Asia (International Media Partner), and Advertising Agencies Association of India and The Advertising Club (Community Partners).