Facebook launches new video service called 'Watch'

11 August, 2017, 00:38 | Author: Delbert Rhodes
  • Facebook product management director Rob Leathern      Twitter

When Watch rolls out, it will do so with a group of chosen video producers, as Facebook seeks to establish the platform.

Global social networking platform Facebook has unveiled more details of its original content plans, with the launch of Watch, a new platform for shows. Initially, it will be available to selected users.

Facebook says the initial roll-out will be to a limited group of users in the USA with plans for wider distribution to follow.

In a blog post yesterday, the company announced the rollout of Watch, a service that will show video content "produced exclusively for it by partners". Facebook has limited the number of content creators who can take advantage of the program during a testing phase.

To start, Watch will be available to a limited group of people on the USA, appearing on Facebook's mobile, desktop and TV apps. Over time, the Watch tab will learn the likes and interests of users and make recommendations accordingly. The content is grouped into "shows", which are made up of episodes-live or recorded-and follow a theme or storyline. Recommendations will also be based on categories such as "Most Talked About", "Shows Your Friends Are Watching" and "What's Making People Laugh".

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Shows will also feature dedicated Show Pages, which are created to make it easy to learn what the show is about, view episodes and related videos.

Facebook is now working with a select group of publishers and creators who are making shows, its also funding some shows in an effort to "help seed the ecosystem".

In a crowded media landscape, Facebook's announcement prompted the tech site Recode to ask, "Does anyone actually want to watch "shows" on Facebook?"

To encourage more people to create shows for Watch, Facebook said it would expand its video advertisement monetisation program, which shares revenue from commercials that appear during videos.

With Facebook running out of space for its ads on the news feed, the company has been looking for other sources of income. There's also a live program featuring motivational speaker Gabby Bernstein, who will answer questions from Facebook users. Mark Zuckerberg, who previously said that we're entering a "golden age for live video", sees the format as the future of his company.

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