Facebook starts new video service called 'Watch'

Gwen Vasquez
August 11, 2017

It's a potential threat to Twitter, YouTube, Netflix and other services for watching video, including old-fashioned TV.

Watch will be available on mobile, desktop and on Facebook's TV app and it will have different video sections like like "Most Talked About", which highlights shows that spark conversation, "What's Making People Laugh", which includes shows where many people have used the "Haha" reaction, and "What Friends Are Watching", which helps you connect with friends about shows they too are following. Yet its success is far from guaranteed.

Initially, Watch will be available to a limited group of Facebook users in the United States and more widely to US users in the coming weeks, Facebook, said.

Facebook has been trying for years to become a major player in digital video, but still lags behind its competitors. Although there has already been a special video section, it mainly showed a random concoction of "suggested" videos.

"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", he said. These shows will be made out of live or recorded episodes that follow an already set storyline or theme, basically, what most expect from a show or series.

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The new platform offers an opportunity for social interactions via the Facebook community of some two billion users.

Users will be able to personalize their feeds and follow shows they like, much like YouTube's channel subscription model.

"Live does that better than nearly anything", he said.

There's also a monetary incentive for publishers to create and upload original videos to Facebook Watch. The page will also inform the users about the show and what is it all about. Watch is basically the redesigned Video tab which is already available to United States users. Furthermore, the cheaper shows that will exclusively launch on Facebook Watch will be permitted to be shown outside after their respective debuts.

According to Facebook, creators will one day be able to monetize their shows through ad breaks. Facebook's big challenge, he said, will be to train users "to establish a Watch habit".

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