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New Facebook controls let you choose who views your videos

The social network has recently been upgrading its video platform so that it can remain competitive with YouTube.

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Facebook now lets you restrict who views videos by age and gender.

James H. Collins/File/AP

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Facebook has announced a new set of options for those uploading videos, allowing users of the social network to choose who is allowed to see them.

New controls will include the ability to limit who can see videos based on users' age and gender, as well as the ability to set an expiration date on videos. Facebook already offers users privacy controls based on language and location.

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In addition, company is giving users a 'secret video' mode, for videos that are not searchable on Facebook and can be access only via a direct URL.  

“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,” Anaid Gomez-Ortigoza, Facebook product manager said in a blog post.  

Facebook’s video business has rocketed in recent months, with the social network’s users viewing more than 4 billion videos a day.

"Video is a big opportunity for us," Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's COO, told Mashable earlier this year. "We’ve always believed that the format of our ads should follow the format of what consumers are doing on Facebook. The fact that there is so much consumer video, that gives us the opportunity to do more marketing video as well. It's still early days and we are focused on quality."

Earlier this month, Facebook started testing a new “Watch Later” button that allows users to flag a video so they can watch it at a later time. YouTube already has a similar function.

Meanwhile, analysts say that social media giant and YouTube are on an advertising arms race. According to a recent report by Ampere Analysis, Facebook, which now has 1.4 billion users worldwide, poses a serious threat to YouTube's growth prospects.