Facebook Debuts “Watch”, a New Platform for Shows on Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg has been predicting the video boom for years. Today, he launches “Watch”, a new platform on Facebook for shows.

Facebook will debut original shows made by media partners exclusively for the social network. Amazon, Netflix, Google, Snapchat, and Apple are all also beefing up their original video content. Now Facebook gets into the game. Online video, especially on mobile, is here to stay.

The video tab in Facebook’s mobile app will feature a new section called “Watch” to highlight the initiative. “Watch” will also appear on desktop and Facebook’s TV apps. Facebook will roll out “Watch” to a small group of users today before expanding it more widely in the weeks to come.

From the Facebook Newsroom:

“We’re introducing Watch, a new platform for shows on Facebook. Watch will be available on mobile, on desktop and laptop, and in our TV apps. Shows are made up of episodes — live or recorded — and follow a theme or storyline. To help you keep up with the shows you follow, Watch has a Watchlist so you never miss out on the latest episodes.

Watch is personalized to help you discover new shows, organized around what your friends and communities are watching. For example, 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.”

facebook debuts shows in watch

Facebook debuts “Watch”, for shows

Here’s a list of some of the original programming that will be available on “Watch”:

  • Tastemade’s Kitchen Little – This cooking show sees kids watch a how-to recipe video, then instruct a pro chef how to make the dish with comedic results
  • Major League Baseball – The MLB will broadcast one game a week live on Facebook
  • Major League Baseball “12:25 Live” –  A comedic look at baseball with help from the fans
  • Mike Rowe – Rowe finds people who’ve done great things for their community and gives them a special experience in return
  • Nas Daily – Vlogger Nas (Correction: Not the rapper) makes videos with his biggest friends each day
  • Gabby Bernstein – Motivational speaker and author answers fans’ life questions in live and recorded segments
  • A&E’s “Bae or Bail:” – Reality TV game show where couples face their fears and see who runs
  • All Def Digital’s “Inside the Office” – A look inside the office life at Russel Simmons’ hip-hop media empire
  • Billboard’s “How it Went Down” – A documentary series of musicians sharing crazy stories
  • David Lopez’s “My Social Media Life”  – A reality show about the social media star’s life
  • Golden State Warriors’ “Championship Rewind”  – A behind-the-scenes look at the Bay Area’s NBA championship 2016-2017 season
  • Univision Deportes’ “Liga MX” – Live coverage of LigaMX soccer matches
  • National Geographic’s “We’re Wired that Way:” – Mini-documentaries about weird quirks of humanity like songs you can’t get out of your head
  • National Geographic’s “Safari Live” – Watch live safaris led by National Geographic’s guides
  • NASA’s “Science @ NASA” – Explore science topics in quick four to five-minute episodes
  • NBA’s “WNBA All-Access” – A behind the scenes show with women’s basketball stars
  • The Dodo’s “Comeback Kids: Animal Edition” features determined animals facing difficult conditions or challenges meet people who refuse to give up on them.
  • Tommy Mac – A master woodworker gives live tutorials on how to make furniture

We think this is going to be HUGE. If you are not creating video content for your brand, you need to be. Need help? Contact us today.

Facebook Makes Some Tweaks to Its Newsfeed Algorithm

Facebook Updates Its Algorithm and Prepares to Come to Your Television…

Facebook announced a few updates to its newsfeed algorithm yesterday:

  • Videos will play with the sound on by default in the News Feed. This change comes after Facebook A/B tested videos with the sound on by default in recent months and reportedly received “positive feedback.”
  • Vertical videos will automatically expand to fill the full screen (another copy of Snapchat). This is change is likely meant to encourage people to shoot & upload videos from their phones, with an emphasis on vertical video.
  • Videos can keep playing in a little thumbnail at the bottom of your screen while you browse the News Feed. Facebook has already tested this feature with a subset of its users, but now it’s rolling out to everyone.
  • Facebook’s TV app will be available “soon” on the Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Samsung Smart TVs, with more devices to follow.

Facebook is obviously putting an emphasis on video, both encouraging users to create and share, and to watch as well. The company recently announced it is allowing content creators show mid-roll ads in their videos, and they are also working on funding their own scripted video shows.

Zuckerberg recently described video as a “mega-trend” similar to how mobile phones contributed to Facebook’s early growth. Facebook’s thinking is that, if it can get people to watch more videos, it can further tap into the $70 billion brand advertising budgets that are normally reserved for TV shows. The recent newsfeed updates, along with Facebook’s plan to launch a standalone app for televisions, illustrates their focus here.

As a company, you should be focusing on creating video content. Video content that can be shared on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Pinterest. The same video content can also be repurposed for YouTube, Vimeo, and your blog.

Need help with a video strategy? Contact us today!