Facebook announces 'Watch,' a YouTube-like streaming service

Janie Parker
August 11, 2017

Facebook said the videos that will appear in Watch will be pulled from creators and publishers who have created "Show" pages on Facebook - akin to how some small businesses create a dedicated page. The social media giant's plan calls for using ads to monetize video.

Facebook is straying further into YouTube territory.

Facebook pays NPR and other leading news organizations to produce live video streams that run on the site. Another feature that links shows to Groups allows users to connect not only with each other but also with the shows' creators, notes TechCrunch. Facebook's Watch tab can be seen as a new TV-like rival to YouTube.

Many are pointing to the new Watch as being Facebook's answer to YouTube TV, although Facebook says they are capitalizing on their own success with making video available on their platform. The site reports that the shows "are being created by partners like A&E Networks, Hearst, National Basketball Association, Business Insider, Mashable, National Geographic, Brit & Co. and other outlets". Users will get frequent recommendations and reminders for live and recorded shows to watch. In announcing the platform, Facebook said it has funded several series, including Returning the Favor, hosted by Mike Rowe.

Live events like the weekly games being broadcast by Major League Baseball.

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Like Amazon and Netflix, Facebook plans to offer a range of shows including exclusive ones that it has commissioned itself.

"More and more people are coming to Facebook with the intention of watching videos", said Fidji Simo, who leads Facebook's video efforts. Hosting original programming will boost Facebook's ad revenue and also create more reasons for users to log into and check their News Feeds for interesting and unique content.

Watch builds on Facebook's first foray into a dedicated video space, when it introduced as a Video tab in the United States previous year. Ad Breaks, which are now in beta testing, are up to 20 seconds long. And while the first batch of content will come from creators who've been invited and/or paid to participate, the platform will eventually feature a much wider group.

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Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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