Facebook Announces ‘Watch’: New Streaming And Video Service

Facebook, the social media giant with well over 1.2 billion monthly users, has announced its foray into streaming services with its new video platform “Watch,” which will feature a range of shows, some funded by the company itself. The personalized video service will feature a YouTube-esque subscription service, where users can watch their favorite shows and will be able to discover new shows viewed by their friends.

The new video service, which comes in the form of a tab on Facebook, will feature a real-time comments section and original content created by Facebook’s partners. Partners will be permitted to keep 55 percent of ad revenue gained from the service, with Facebook pocketing the other 45.

Watch will be available on mobile platforms, laptops, desktops, and through TV apps, and will feature both live and pre-recorded shows. The service will even feature a “What Friends Are Watching” section to connect viewers to content viewed by their friends on social media, as well.

Facebook’s entrance into the streaming marketplace comes at a time when the competition is fierce and advertising space is crowded. Disney recently announced it would be pulling its content from Netflix after the expiration of their current deal and will be starting a streaming service of its own.

Facebook new video service WatcH

Facebook’s hosting of original content on their video service will help alleviate the pressures it faces in the market, as it grants the company control over both the production and distribution of shows which could grow to be immensely popular. Publishers will be able to share videos to Facebook’s news feed as well, offering the company a unique way to attract viewers unavailable to its competitors.

Not all of the content hosted on Facebook’s service will be produced in-house, however.

“We want any publisher/creator who is interested to be able to create a show in the future,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to TechCrunch.

“So there will be hundreds of shows at launch, and we’ll hopefully scale to thousands.”

Facebook streaming service Watch

Much of Facebook’s new video content will be directly tied to the company’s social media feed, as it explained in a release posted to its newsroom. People, places, and topics featured in certain programs will be selected by the same viewers watching them.

“Candidates are nominated by [the show’s] fans on Facebook,” part of the post read.

Facebook announced that the new video service would be available in select locations in the U.S. first before expanding to the entirety of the U.S. and eventually to the international stage.

[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]