A TV-like rival to YouTube has been created by Facebook in a bid to get people to spend even more time on the social media platform. This new feature lets users discover videos from outside their feed more easily. Therefore, it is a lot easier to follow shows created by artists, brands and publishers.
Partners who create video content just for Facebook will earn 55% of revenue generated by ad breaks inserted into the content. By attracting and hosting this original programming, Facebook is giving users a larger reason to spend more time on the platform, thus boosting the social network’s already amazing revenue.
The feature is called ‘Watch’ and it is replacing the videos tab within the Facebook app. This will be available on desktop and TV apps including those made for Apple and Amazon Fire TV. Watch will make it a lot easier to discover trending content or videos that friends are watching. It also enables users to save specific shows into a watchlist so they will receive notifications when new episodes are added.
Unlike the current videos tab, Watch organises the video content into separate sections such as ‘most talked about’ or ‘what’s making people laugh’ (based on who clicks the ‘haha’ emoji reaction).
The director of product, Daniel Danker said, “Watch is a platform for all creators and publishers to find an audience, build a community of passionate fans and earn money for their work.”
The launch of this TV-like service has been rumored for several months. However, with the emphasis on creating a community-based content generator and encouraging users to interact with each other, Watch seems to be more like YouTube than Netflix.
The focus of this new feature ties into Facebook’s revamped mission in 2017 to “give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together”.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post, “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 the same things.”