Facebook launches video app for content creators in challenge to YouTube
Facebook has launched a video app called Creators aimed at building a community of closely followed producers like YouTube's, the company announced Thursday.
The company opened a new office in Playa Vista last year in part to strengthen its relationship with the entertainment industry and video creators who have flocked to YouTube.
Video - particularly the kind generated by social media stars - is seen as key to driving up engagement on Facebook, leading to more advertising revenue.
The Creators app gives video producers a centralized platform to post content, add video effects, keep tabs on metrics and read comments on Facebook and Instagram, and messages on Messenger.
The company is also launching a website called Facebook for Creators, which will coach users on refining their videos.
At a time when Facebook is under fire for enabling societal divisiveness, the company has promoted video as an antidote, arguing that engaging with comments, likes and shares around video is more rewarding than merely watching as a bystander.
There's no guarantee that Facebook's push for communities built around popular video producers will result in a more cohesive online environment.
Encroaching into YouTube's territory will likely mean inviting the same problems faced by the Google-owned company. That includes more trolling in the comments and more hyperpartisan content of the sort Facebook is already accused of spreading.
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