Facebook Introduces "Watch" Video Platform

Facebook product management director Rob Leathern      Twitter

Facebook is straying further into YouTube territory. Facebook said the videos that will appear in Watch will be pulled from creators and publishers who have created "Show" pages on Facebook - akin to how some small businesses create a dedicated page.

Facebook pays NPR and other leading news organizations to produce live video streams that run on the site.

"We think creating a show has a number of benefits, like the ability to reach a predictable and loyal audience", Facebook's Nick Grudin, VP of Media Partnerships, wrote of the plan.

Many are pointing to the new Watch as being Facebook's answer to YouTube TV, although Facebook says they are capitalizing on their own success with making video available on their platform.

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Other than its platform, the concept closely resembles TV's model of episodic shows, as Advertising Age notes.

Other shows will be produced by video partners including National Geographic, Time Inc., NASA and the NBA. The content is grouped into "shows", which are made up of episodes-live or recorded-and follow a theme or storyline.

Among the shows Facebook is paying for is Returning the Favour, a show about inspiring people starring Mike Rowe, who was the host of Dirty Jobs.

Facebook wants to make viewing videos a social experience.

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Facebook has been trying for years to become a major player in digital video, but still lags behind its competitors.

As The Verge notes, "If successful, Facebook's push into video programming could represent a major new source of revenue for the company, which has begun running out of room to place new ads in in the News Feed".

Zuckerberg said that the Watch tab will be rolled out to a limited number of Facebook users in the US first, and more people will be able to use it "soon".

The company says the interaction that takes place on Facebook Live, with people commenting and reacting to videos in real time, was a key consideration in designing the Watch platform. Ad Breaks, which are now in beta testing, are up to 20 seconds long.

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Angry artist manages to get Twitter to remove hateful tweets _ by spray painting them in front of the company's German headquarters. In addition, show producers "can also create sponsored shows using our branded content tag", Facebook says.

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