Facebook will compete with the likes of YouTube and Netflix with its own video platform set to appear within the social network itself.
Users will see a new “Watch” tab appear on their feeds, which when clicked will take them to a range of shows being offered by Facebook.
Some of these shows will be funded by the social network itself, especially those that are “community-focused”.
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Watch will be rolling out on mobile, desktop and laptop, and in Facebook’s TV apps to a “limited group of people in the US,” with the company saying it has plans to bring the platform to a wider audience in the near future.
Users will be able to add shows to their ‘Watchlist’, with the platform designed to showcase new shows, organised around what user’s friends and communities are watching.
Sections include “Most Talked About,” and “What’s Making People Laugh,” which includes shows where numerous people have used the “Haha” reaction.
Users will also be able to see what their friends are watching, with comments viewable while the videos play.
In the announcement, Facebook said: “Watch is a platform for all creators and publishers to find an audience, build a community of passionate fans, and earn money for their work.”
At launch, the platform will offer such shows as Nas Daily, which will feature a creator making daily videos with fans.
Gabby Bernstein, meanwhile, will be an interactive show created by the motivational speaker, while Facebook’s deal with Major League Baseball will see one live game shown per week.
The company has paid creators to provide content for the platform, but will eventually take a cut of the revenue from the ads used in videos.
US users were provided with a Videos tab just over a year ago, and this seems to be the natural next step in Facebook’s video plans.
At this point, it remains to be seen whether the venture will be successful. The social network will bekeen to see whether users will take to long-form video on a social network known as a source for short-form content.
Let us know your thoughts on the new platform on social media.