Science

It's official! Facebook launches TV-like video platform 'Watch'

10 Aug 2017 | By Ramya Patelkhana

Facebook has finally announced the launch of its dedicated online video platform 'Watch', months after reports about its increasing focus on video content surfaced.

The social media giant aims to take over or rather kill YouTube and TV networks with this service.

'Watch' offers a range of shows, replacing the 'Video' tab; it wants to become an online hub for original video.

Here's more!

In context: Watch: Facebook's original video content service

10 Aug 2017It's official! Facebook launches TV-like video platform 'Watch'

DetailsA new platform for shows, says Facebook's Daniel Danker

Facebook Director of Product, Daniel Danker, stated Watch would be available on desktop, laptop, mobile, and TV apps.

He added the video content would either be recorded or live, following a storyline or theme.

The platform's 'Watchlist' feature will help users keep up with their favorite shows.

However, Watch would be initially rolled out to a limited number of users in the US.

Watch PlatformUsers can connect with friends, join dedicated groups

Watch will help publishers and creators find "tailored audience" and build a community of viewers.

It would initially focus on short-form content; high-end shows being funded by Facebook would be launched later.

Mark Zuckerberg said users could discover new shows their friends are watching and follow their favorite creators/shows.

Users can also chat and connect with people while watching episodes without switching platforms.

Mark Zuckerberg's post on Facebook

"We believe it's possible to rethink a lot of experiences through the lens of building community, including watching video. Watching a show doesn't have to be passive. It can be a chance to share an experience and bring people together who care about same things."

Video ContentWatch to introduce flagship dramas later

According to previous reports, media companies BuzzFeed, Vox Media, ATTN, and Group Nine Media have inked deals with Facebook.

Initially, content on Watch would be focused on entertainment, cookery, travel, fitness, parenting, etc.

Facebook wants to showcase video content that plays well on phone screens as well as bigger screens first, rather than the higher-end ones suitable for TV playback.

Revenue PotentialFacebook hopes to address both niche and broad interests

The current Video tab (introduced last year) on Facebook shows only short, amateur videos from media companies and news organizations.

But the Watch tab will showcase a range of high-quality videos.

The new service would also be a new revenue opportunity for Facebook as well as its content creating partners as targeted advertisements would be shown before/during the shows.

Streaming ServicesEntry into a crowded market

Facebook is foraying into the crowded video content space to compete with online platforms and traditional TV networks like YouTube, Netflix, Showtime, and HBO.

On 8 Aug, Disney announced it would pull out of the existing deal with Netflix and launch its own movie-streaming service in 2019.

It said it would also create a sports-streaming ESPN service in 2018.