It could be called Facebook TV, but instead it’s called Facebook Watch – and it’s going to make watching and sharing videos on social media that much easier.
Watch is Facebook’s new tab, which will house original video content or TV shows produced exclusively for it by partners who will share in the ad revenue.
“We’ve learned that people like the serendipity of discovering videos in News Feed, but they also want a dedicated place they can go to watch videos,” said Daniel Danker, Facebook’s Director of Product.
“That’s why last year we launched the video tab in the US, which offered a predictable place to find videos on Facebook.
“Now we want to make it even easier to catch up with shows you love.”
Watch will be available on mobile, desktop and laptop and will feature a range of videos of varying lengths, including scripted series, live shows that feature hosts responding in real time to viewer questions, and sporting events.
Users will be able to keep a Watchlist, which will help them keep track of new episodes.
Watch can also be personalised around what your friends and communities are watching.
There will be sections like Most Talked About, which features shows most commented on by your friends, and What’s Making People Laugh, which includes clips where many friends have used the ‘haha’ reaction.
There will also be a What Friends Are Watching section featuring shows they are following.
“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,” said Mr Danker.
“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.”
From a marketing perspective, Watch will be a platform for companies to find an audience and build a community of passionate consumers, allowing them to communicate directly with the audience.
For example, author Gabby Bernstein uses a combination of recorded and live episodes to connect with her fans and answer their questions in real time.
Watch will also provide online publishers with a new outlet to build their audience and publish their work.
Facebook Watch is currently being rolled out in the USA, with the rest of the world to follow.