Facebook unveils new video platform

Friday, 11 Aug, 2017

Facebook will introduce a new video hub on the world's largest social network Thursday, offering some U.S. users short episodic series from content partners including A&E, Major League Baseball and National Geographic, in a bid to capture more online advertising dollars.

You can create a "Watchlist" which is a list of your favourite shows that you follow so you can catch up on missed episodes. Most Talked About will highlight shows and content that are now gaining attention, while What's Making People Laugh will have shows that many people have reacted to using the "Haha" reaction. "Similarly, we'll be opening up Shows to a limited group of creators and plan to roll out to all soon", he concludes.

Initially, Watch will be available to a limited group of publishers and creators in the United States who are making shows.

Although rivals like YouTube and Snapchat have already experimented with original video content creation, Facebook's "Watch" will have an advantage because of its cross-platform nature.

Facebook has officially moved into the video streaming space, announcing the impending launch of its new "Watch" video platform.

Facebook is paying publishers like BuzzFeed to develop some of the shows and will retain the rights to some of them, according to Recode.

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Eventually, the platform would be open to any show creator as a place to distribute video, Facebook said.

"Facebook team hope that "Watch" will be home to a wide range of shows - from reality to comedy to live sports". The shows will appear on a new "Watch" section in the video tab of Facebook's mobile app, as well as its desktop version.

Episodes of Watch shows can be either live or recorded. TechCrunch says that Facebook is yet to finalise the length of ads. Each show will also have its own Facebook Group as a place for further discussion. And given that the new tab will feature both short-form videos as well as television-style programming, Watch is at once Facebook's answer to YouTube and traditional TV. To help with that effort, it's working on a standalone app for video creators that would allow them to interact with fans and get analytical data on the content they share.

Gabby Bernstein, meanwhile, will be an interactive show created by the motivational speaker, while Facebook's deal with Major League Baseball will see one live game shown per week. Viewers will also be able to see comments from others while watching a show.

Among the shows Facebook is paying for are "Returning the Favor", a show about inspiring people starring Mike Rowe, who was the host of "Dirty Jobs".