Facebook launches new streaming service to rival YouTube and Netflix

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  • Facebook has launched a rival to YouTube by offering a new video-streaming service. The new feature, Watch, will host a variety of original content in an effort to convince Facebook users to spend more time on the social network.

    The feature allows users to discover videos from outside of their own feeds, whilst also creating playlists, watchlists and an easier method of following content created by brands and publishers.

    A number of “community-orientated” shows have been funded by the social media giant “to help inspire creators and seed the ecosystem”. It is claimed that media partners who produce original video content for the social media firm will earn only 55% of revenue generated by advertisements inserted into the content, with Facebook keeping the rest.

    Facebook’s plan to roll out Watch globally is based upon the company’s on-going strategy to compel users to spend more time on their site, exposing them to more advertisements and increasing the social media giant’s already colossal revenue.

    Facebook’s new feature will be replacing the video tab within the popular mobile app, with additional functionalities on desktop and Facebook’s TV apps. The tab already functions as a hub for video content – however, Watch apparently makes it easier to discover trending content, enabling users to save videos into a ‘watchlist’ that sends push notifications when new material is added.

    In a blog post announcing the launch, Daniel Danker, Director of Product said: “Watch is a platform for all creators and publishers to find an audience, build a community of passionate fans, and earn money for their work.”

    Danker alluded to shows available on Watch, including those produced by author and speaker Gabby Bernstein, as well as Tastemade’s Kitchen Little, where kids show professional chefs how to make a recipe. However, PPV material could be a possibility in the future, with Danker mentioning the possible broadcasting of live events such as Major League Baseball.

    Facebook have also announced the commissioning of new shows, including Returning the Favour, hosted by Mike Rowe, where he interviews people who are deemed to be doing something extraordinary for their community.

    In response to the launch of Watch, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said: “Watching a show doesn’t have to be passive. It can be a chance to share an experience, and bring people together who care about the same things.”

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