Facebook Introduces Watch, Its New Netflix-style Video On Demand Platform

Facebook’s fight for TV advertisers’ dollars is just beginning. Today, the world’s most popular social network announced Facebook Watch, its on-demand video platform that will showcase exclusive series and movie content, starting in the US this Friday (11).

In its programming, Facebook Watch will feature original content from various creators based on the interests of the user who is logged into the social network. Americans will have access to the service through the new videos tab that will appear in both the Android and iOS apps and in the web version and also in the Smart TVs app.

Initially, the service will be completely free and will follow the same model as YouTube. Over time, if approved, you should receive ads to monetize the platform.

Facebook Watch Programming

According to Facebook, the shows will be episodic (live or recorded) and follow a theme or plot. For users not to get lost, the Watch has a list area so you never miss the new episodes of those shows you follow. In addition, the Watch will be customized to find new content based on the likes of your friends and the community you are in.

For example, you’ll find places where you can see which shows are being talked about the most and also filter by shows friends are watching or based on reactions like “Haha” to designate humorous content.

In the official statement, the company explained that they learned a lot from the lives and found that the comments and reactions really are as much a part of the experience as the videos themselves. Therefore, the great difference of the product will be being able to chat and see other people’s comments while watching an episode, thus making it a social experience.

Check the types of shows that will be found in the first phase of the product:

Shows that involve fans and communities: the vlogger Nas Daily publishes a daily show in which he makes several videos that are created together with his fans around the world, by example. By Facebook Watch, the video list (Watchlist) will make it even easier for followers to know when he publishes a new episode.

Live videos that connect directly with fans: in this example we have Gabby Bernstein, a New York Times bestselling author who is also a motivational speaker and life coach. She will use Facebook to combine recorded and live video to connect with her follower base and answer questions in real time.

Shows that follow a narrative arc or a consistent theme: the Tastemade show Kitchen Little, is a fun series about kids watching videos of how to make recipes and they teach professional kitchen chefs how to reproduce them. Each episode features a new child and a new chef. Unexpectedly, however, the result of the dish does not always go as planned.

Live events that bring communities together: the professional baseball league Major League Baseball is committed to broadcasting an entire game a week on Facebook, enabling people to watch the play live games and interact with friends and fans within the platform.

A big bet

If successful, the Watch video platform could represent an excellent new source of revenue for the company, which is already running out of inventory to show new ads in users’ News Feed. Furthermore, this is also a strategic way to annoy other services that vie for people’s attention, such as Amazon, YouTube and Netflix.

So only a limited group of Americans will have access in the coming days. After all, Facebook first needs to validate the assumption that people will actually engage with this content before scaling it up in other countries.

Right now, Facebook has paid some famous content creators to display content on the Watch tab without ads, however in the long run the company plans to stop funding completely original works with upfront payments, splitting ad revenue (45% to Facebook and 55% for the producer) through advertisements.

Videos on Facebook have incredible power to connect people, spark debates and build communities

For Daniel Danker, who leads the effort within the company, “What makes Facebook videos special is your friends. You discover new videos through friends. You often find yourself discussing videos with friends. So, social media streaming has this incredible power to bring people together and build a community.”

Whether the strategy will work is too early to say. Facebook will have to get support from major entertainment video publishers. But with more than 2 billion people accessing the app every month with a voracious appetite for videos and also a development team adept at copying competitors efficiently, it’s hard not to get something productive out of it.

Of course, there are also disadvantages. Facebook is a newcomer to this proposal close to what Netflix, HBO, Hulu and Amazon are doing. Not to mention that only YouTube has an audience of over 12 years. However, it becomes increasingly clear that TV content is migrating at high speed to the internet and that Facebook is a player that can never be underestimated.

Facebook can never be underestimated

It is becoming increasingly clear how much your company should be doing on Facebook, isn’t it? Mark Zuckerberg and company are motivated to keep people on the platform longer every day, and that’s a great opportunity to get to know the right channels and impact your audience. Talk to Nerdweb, we are always up to date on social media news and trends so that your digital marketing can be efficient!

Source(s): Facebook Newsroom

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