Facebook's rise up the video charts as one of the top three or four providers of streaming media online has been a remarkably fast climb in the last year. The company is hoping to become a more formal platform for video viewing and sharing. Warner Bros. already streams some films on a pay-per-view basis on the site. The company's own fledgling TV station has tried to get traction with high profile visits and interviews, not the least of which was with the President himself. And now Facebook seems poised to craft more formal arrangements with one or perhaps two of the Web's biggest video providers. According to a New York Post report this weekend, Facebook plans to announce a greater integration with the Hulu service.
Details are scant, but the supposition is that the integration will allow a more sophisticated kind of social networking than what already occurs. Over the summer Hulu was able to establish Facebook Connect to Hulu Plus users so that friends on the social network could share what one another was watching and even designate one another as Hulu Friends, according to ReadWriteWeb.
Hulu itself saw such value in making the Facebook connection that it offered Hulu Plus subscribers a free month of service if they used Facebook Connect, the site reports. The Post says that Facebook will make an announcement of what we have to assume will be a further integration at the Facebook f8 conference on Thursday.
The Post speculates that Facebook may also be ready to announce a closer relationship with Netflix. The company is hoping to make entertainment sharing a driver of use and a way to tap into the massive marketing economy associated with pushing film and TV content.
Facebook actually has some genuine competition in the social space from entertainment-focused check-ins like the popular GetGlue, where people check in to share what they are viewing and reading.In its July video rankings, comScore cited 51.4 million uniques for video content on Facebook and 186 million viewing sessions. Unlike other video sites, however, the minutes per viewer (17.9 minutes) for Facebook are much smaller than VEVO (66) or YouTube/Google (353.7).