Facebook has finally unveiled its push into TV-like content, a year after introducing the video tab.
Positioned as a platform where anyone can upload videos, "Watch" is Facebook's latest effort to please original video creators. An integration with the video tab will allow users to find videos created by advertisers and fellow creators on Facebook, organized by how people have reacted to them.
“Now we want to make it even easier to catch up with shows you love,” Daniel Danker, director of product, wrote in a post on Facebook’s Newsroom, announcing the launch.
Watch will be available to Facebook users across mobile, laptop, and even desktop as well as Facebook's TV apps, with Danker adding that “Shows are made up of episodes—live or recorded—and follow a theme or storyline.”
Users will have a "Watchlist" much like YouTube's playlists and be able to personalize their list and share it with their network. Additional tabs will feature “Most Talked About,” “What’s Making People Laugh,” and “What Friends Are Watching.”
“We’ve learned from Facebook Live that people’s comments and reactions to a video are often as much a part of the experience as the video itself,” Danker explained, adding: “So when you watch a show, you can see comments and connect with friends and other viewers while watching, or participate in a dedicated Facebook Group for the show.”
With this announcement, video creators and publishers can move one step forward with Facebook as not only the host platform for content but also an avenue for content monetization and gain access audiences that will register for shows.
While the fees and costs structure for promoting shows to audiences on Watch is unclear at the moment, Facebook will only be rolling the first iteration of Watch to a select number of original creators and publishers as they have done in the past with similar rollouts.