Following months of speculation, Facebook has officially introduced “Watch,” its much-anticipated push into TV-like content. The move comes a year after Facebook introduced a “video tab” making it easier for users to discover and organize videos on Facebook.
“Now we want to make it even easier to catch up with shows you love,” Daniel Danker, director of product, wrote in a post on Facebook’s Newsroom Wednesday announcing the launch.
The new format, dubbed “Watch,” is available to users on mobile, desktop, laptop and in Facebook’s TV apps, he said, adding, “Shows are made up of episodes — live or recorded — and follow a theme or storyline.”
The utility includes a “Watchlist” enabling users to follow episodes and personalize their list and promote it to friends.
It includes tabs such as “Most Talked About,” “What’s Making People Laugh,” and “What Friends Are Watching.”
“We’ve learned from Facebook Live that people’s comments and reactions to a video are often as much a part of the experience as the video itself,” Danker explained, adding: “So when you watch a show, you can see comments and connect with friends and other viewers while watching, or participate in a dedicated Facebook Group for the show.”
For creators and publishers, Facebook is touting Watch as a new platform for promoting their content to Facebook audiences, and is providing a link for those who want to “register” shows for Watch.
Facebook did not elaborate on fees or costs associated with promoting shows to audiences via Watch, but said the platform initially will be introduced to a “limited group of people” and a “limited group of creators.”