‘Watch’ Platform Will Showcase Exclusive Facebook TV Shows
Beware YouTube, Netflix, Amazon and TV networks, as the most popular social media networking site, Facebook has finally announced its own new platform for watching video content.
The service called Watch will allow its Facebook users to subscribe to shows inside its apps and desktop site and watch them in a dedicated tab. Based on the user’s preferences, the new video tab will offer a customised variety of shows and what their friends are watching. The first slate of programming is expected to include around 40 shows from different publishing partners and content studios.
“Watching video on Facebook has the incredible power to connect people, spark conversation and foster community,” Daniel Danker, Facebook’s Director of Product, announced on Wednesday. “On Facebook, videos are discovered through friends and bring communities together. As more and more people enjoy this experience, we’ve learned that people like the serendipity of discovering videos in News Feed, but they also want a dedicated place they can go to watch videos. That’s why last year we launched the Video tab in the U.S., which offered a predictable place to find videos on Facebook. Now we want to make it even easier to catch up with shows you love.”
Facebook’s new “Watch” tab will show the company’s growing video content. Although a lot of shows that are made up of episodes — live or recorded – will follow a theme or storyline, Facebook doesn’t provide much information in that regard just yet.
In its announcement, Danker said: “Watch is personalized to help you discover new shows, organized around what your friends and communities are watching. For example, you’ll find sections like “Most Talked About,” which highlights shows that spark conversation, “What’s Making People Laugh,” which includes shows where many people have used the “Haha” reaction, and “What Friends Are Watching,” which helps you connect with friends about shows they too are following.”
Further, in order to help the users keep up with the shows that they follow, Watch has created a ‘Watchlist’. All the latest favorite shows as well as saved videos of the user can be found under Watchlist. Users will also be able to view comments and connect with friends and dedicated groups of the shows.
“Watching a show does not have to be passive,” said Facebook Founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg in a post on the social media platform. “It can be a chance to share an experience and bring people together who care about the same things.That’s why we’re launching the Watch tab in Facebook – a place where you can discover shows your friends are watching and follow your favourite shows and creators so you don’t miss any episodes.”
He said some of the content would be made by “professional creators” and others by “regular people in our community”.
Slated to debut on August 28, Watch will feature a range of comedies, reality shows and live sports, such as: “Nas Daily,” a show from a guy who quit his job to make one-minute travel videos “together with his fans from around the world” (a preview clip is titled “We Bought 1000 Burgers”); “Tastemade’s Kitchen Little,” a humorous show about kids who watch a how-to video of a recipe, then instruct professional chefs on how to make it ; a live show where motivational speaker Gabby Bernstein will interact with Facebook users; “Returning the Favor,” in which former “Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe rewards people who’ve helped their communities; and in probably Facebook’s biggest grab,Major League Baseball is broadcasting a game a week on Facebook . There are a few more interesting options, like a NASA science show, and a live National Geographic safari program.
Facebook’s Watch tab will be available on mobile, on desktop and laptop, and its FB TV apps . However, the company is aiming to make it available to additional U.S. viewers “in the coming weeks.” Also, Facebook will open up the platform to a limited group of creators and will then roll it out to all soon after.
“Watch is a platform for all creators and publishers to find an audience, build a community of passionate fans, and earn money for their work,” the company said.
In due course, Facebook says it will rollout ‘Shows,’ the platform for episodic content, to all content creators.
Up until now, Facebook users have just been viewing Facebook Live streams, videos shared by friends, and original video series that appear on news feeds and the mobile app’s video tab, which actually account for average of 100 million hours of video on the platform every day.