Facebook has introduced ‘Watch’, a new video platform for original programming, pitting it against Netflix and YouTube.
The programming will be available to view on mobile devices, desktop and laptops and smart TVs. Like YouTube, users can subscribe to their favorite channels on what’s called a Watchlist.
In a blog post, Facebook says:
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.
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. 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.
According to Techcrunch. Facebook’s new video tab, Watch, makes it a direct YouTube competitor given that it plans to feature videos created by individuals, not just entertainment and media companies.
“But Watch could soon take more direct aim at Netflix. Facebook has shown that it’s willing to spend millions of dollars for exclusive rights to the kinds of series you would see on traditional TV.” Tech crunch
Facebook Mark Zuckerberg said on his facebook page, “That’s why today we’re launching the Watch tab in Facebook – a place where you can discover shows your friends are watching and follow your favourite shows and creators so you don’t miss any episodes. You’ll be able to chat and connect with people during an episode, and join groups with people who like the same shows afterwards to build community.”