Published: Thu, August 10, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Facebook unveils new Watch tab for original video content

Facebook unveils new Watch tab for original video content

Facebook Inc.'s much-anticipated video product will be available beginning Thursday for some U.S. users, featuring short episodic series from content partners such as A&E, Major League Baseball and National Geographic.

Danker says the new platform will be available on mobile, on desktop and laptop, and in our TV apps.

Advertisers may be more comfortable buying Facebook's mid-roll ads when they're running in the middle of a TV-style show than a closed-circuit video of a judge trying to understand why the defendant has no trousers.

Facebook's content will carry the same social aspect that its current live platform does.

Live shows that connect directly with fans. To help you keep up with the shows you follow, Watch has a Watchlist so you never miss out on the latest episodes. This brings a very Facebook social element to the mix, though chat is a feature we've already seen on YouTube.

The new tab will be called "Watch" and showcase a slew of shows slated to debut on August 28, people familiar with the matter said. There's also Nas Daily, a show where the rapper Nas makes videos with his fans, and Kitchen Little, a show where kids tell professional chefs how to cook based on DIY videos they watched. While Netflix, Amazon and Hulu take up most of our streaming budget, companies like Apple and Google are also gearing up to get in on the game.

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In a nutshell, Shows are videos grouped by episode or theme, in contrast to your run of the mill one-off cat videos. Content from Thrillist, Vox, and sports leagues like the National Basketball Association and MLB will be included in the social juggernaut's maiden voyage into programming.

As for its own original content, Facebook's aim is to essentially show creators what it thinks will work on Watch, and has funded programs that fall into the community-oriented and episodic categories. He'll in turn do "something extraordinary for them".

The company has also made a big push in Facebook Live, a feature that lets people broadcast themselves live over the internet and directly onto the social network. The circle, my friends, is complete.

Facebook's battle for television ad dollars is about to begin in earnest. There's also the opportunity to create sponsored shows.

More information can be found in Facebook's announcement post right here. We'll update this story if we hear back.

So Facebook created Watch - which you can think of as Facebook's YouTube in the same way that Instagram is its Snapchat - and which is split into two main tabs: Discover and Watchlist. For instance, it's unclear if you'll be able to find Facebook's original programming only in Watch or if you'll see third-party videos as well. Especially as ads are brought into the fold.

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