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Facebook Enters Video Streaming Market With Watch Platform
12 August 2017, 12:34 | Ruben Stone
Facebook Inc (FB) Unveils “Watch” Feature Dedicated to Video Viewing
FacebookWatch, the social giant's video hub that went live for select users on Wednesday, already has a roster of digital video launch partners - like Time Inc., Hearst, Brit & Co., Tastemade, Quartz and McClatchy. The Watchlist makes it easy for fans to catch every day's new episode.
The new platform offers an opportunity for social interactions via the Facebook community of some two billion users.
A blog post about the new Facebook service stressed that it is organized around "friends and communities". Content creators can create sets of live or recorded episodes that follow a theme or storyline. It will also have a Watchlist so people would never miss out on the latest episodes.
The launch shows include blogger Nusseir Yassin's "Nas Daily", which includes videos together with his fans from around the world, and another hosted by author and motivational speaker Gabby Bernstein.
A Facebook spokesman told CNNMoney that the company does not have a full list of shows yet, and emphasized that this week's launch is only a "limited test".
In a report from TechCrunch, Facebook confirmed its plans to make Watch accessible to more users and more content creators soon, starting with the rest of the USA before expanding internationally.
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The new tab will be called Watch and will initially showcase videos created by the Facebok creators and also sponsored by the Facebook itself. The two companies have been communicating with each other via Facebook Messenger and G-Chat.
"Watching a show does not have to be passive", saidFacebook Founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg in a post on the social media platform.
But Facebook faces steep competition both from publisher's owned-and-operated TV apps and from emerging video services like Hulu, YouTube TV and DirecTV Now.
YouTube will soon be rolling out a new visual scheme that will help video content creators understand more about how their videos can be monetised.
"In general, the model here feels very YouTube-like, with a subscription model, though Facebook's apps for TV platforms in recent months have signaled the broad structure and interface, with a combination of videos recommended or liked by friends, things you've saved, things that are popular on the platform, and so on", said Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research.
By hosting original programming, Facebook could boost ad revenue and give people a reason to frequently return to the News Feed for content they can't get anywhere else. Labels and publishers insist that they only ever agree to the terms enjoyed by the Google company because the aforementioned safe harbour results in rights owners having a greatly weakened negotiating hand when deal making with YouTube.
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