Facebook rolls out video shows, in new challenge

August 10, 2017
Facebook's new professional video service called Watch is touted as a new platform for creators

Facebook is rolling out a new video service offering professionally produced shows in a challenge to rivals such as YouTube, and potentially to streaming providers like Netflix.

The Facebook service called Watch will include a range of shows, from reality to comedy to live sports, the social network said in its announcement late Wednesday.

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

It will be "a place where you can discover shows your friends are watching and follow your favorite shows and creators so you don't miss any episodes," Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said.

"You'll be able to chat and connect with people during an episode, and join groups with people who like the same shows afterwards to build community."

Facebook has funded some of the creators to get the service going.

The launch shows include blogger Nusseir Yassin's "Nas Daily," which includes videos together with his fans from around the world, and another hosted by author and motivational speaker Gabby Bernstein.

The will also include a weekly Major League Baseball game.

"Watch is comprised of shows, a new type of on Facebook," said Nick Grudin, Facebook's vice president of media partnerships, in a blog post.

"Shows are made up of episodes –- live or recorded -– that follow a consistent theme or storyline... Our goal is for Watch to be a platform for all creators and publishers to find an audience, build a community of passionate fans, and earn money for their work."

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.

Over time, creators will be able to monetize their shows through "ad breaks," according to Facebook.

The launch is a limited move into scripted and professional video but puts Facebook on a course to challenge Google-owned YouTube, and possibly other streaming services if it gains a wider audience.

"In general, the model here feels very YouTube-like, with a subscription model, though Facebook's apps for TV platforms in recent months have signaled the broad structure and interface, with a combination of videos recommended or liked by friends, things you've saved, things that are popular on the platform, and so on," said Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research.

Explore further: Facebook to produce own TV series, games

Related Stories

Facebook to produce own TV series, games

June 26, 2017

Facebook is starting production on high-quality television series and gaming shows to be broadcast on its platform, one of the social media giant's executives said on Monday.

Facebook hits two billion user mark

June 27, 2017

Facebook said Tuesday its ranks of monthly active users had hit the two billion mark—meaning more than a quarter of the world's population is on the giant social network.

YouTube adds mobile video streaming for top talent

February 7, 2017

YouTube on Tuesday began letting popular online video personalities broadcast on the go using mobile devices, ramping up a challenge to Facebook and Twitter in the live-streaming arena.

Recommended for you

Google braces for huge EU fine over Android

July 18, 2018

Google prepared Wednesday to be hit with huge EU fine for freezing out rivals of its Android mobile phone system in a ruling that could spark new tensions between Brussels and Washington.

EU set to fine Google billions over Android: sources

July 17, 2018

The EU is set to fine US internet giant Google several billion euros this week for freezing out rivals of its Android mobile phone system, sources said, in a ruling that risks fresh tensions with Washington.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.