Facebook wants to make it easier for people to find and watch shows they love. So, it is introducing Watch, a new platform for users to watch their favourite shows on mobile, desktop, or TV.
Video drives conversations, connects people and fosters communities. It is also an incredible way to engage people. But, people also want a dedicated place to watch the videos they love. That’s why Facebook launched its Video tab in the U.S., offering a predictable place for people to find and watch videos on the platform.
With Watch though, people can find their favourite shows in episodes and watch them within their Facebook app. If you are worried about missing episodes, Watch also features a Watchlist, so you will never miss out on new ones. Watch is also personalised, and offers Facebook users the ability to discover new shows that are relevant to them based on what they like to watch and what their friends are watching as well.
As Daniel Danker, Director of Product explains in the announcement of the new feature,
[quote]You’ll find sections like “Most Talked About,” which highlights shows that spark conversation, “What’s Making People Laugh,” which includes shows where many people have used the “Haha” reaction, and “What Friends Are Watching,” which helps you connect with friends about shows they too are following.[/quote]
There is a big social element to watching shows, so Facebook has used its learnings from Facebook Live to make Watch as “social” as possible. While watching shows, users can comment and react, as well as connect with friends or other viewers. Users can even discuss their favourite shows in dedicated Groups. Hey, there are even Shows Pages, making it “seamless to create a Facebook show and publish new episode!”
Watch is also a place for creators and publishers though. On the platform, they can find an audience, build communities, and monetise their work. In its announcement, Facebook suggests a few types of shows that could be successful on Watch:
- – Shows that engage fans and community.
- – Live shows that connect directly with fans.
- – Shows that follow a narrative arc or have a consistent theme.
- – Live events that bring communities together.
However, these are just ideas. A range of shows can shine on Watch – reality, comedy, even live sports, and more. Watch is being rolled out to a limited amount of people in the U.S. for now but more will have access to it soon. Similarly, the ability to make shows will also be available to a small amount of U.S. users for now. You can find out more about making shows here.
Exciting! But what does this mean for TV? Has Facebook just made its first big assault on traditional TV?