Facebook takes on YouTube with its new Video service
10th August 2017

The times of live television appear to be dying. How many of us actually bother to sit and wait around for our scheduled programs anymore? While Twitter are already challenging this, Facebook appear to be weighing in the situation too.

Sure, if you’re there anyway or its a live event then that makes sense. However, the likes of Dr Who, Poldark, Game of Thrones, or any other show for that matter? I usually just watch them on a streaming service after their live showings.

Catch-up streaming services, as well as video hosting sites, like YouTube, are increasingly making the need for live TV less relevant. Even when it comes to the news, you can just search the web now and everything you need to know is there in real time.

Social media giants, Facebook, have been busy on a new feature. No, it’s not that long awaited “dislike” button (let’s face it, that’s never happening, they gave us “reactions” instead), but they’re putting their foot in the door and taking on Google’s own video service, YouTube. Introducing Facebook’s “Watch”.

Facebook Watch UI

The interface for Facebook’s “Watch” (Image: Facebook)

A new tab is going to be made available to users of the social platform that will offer a range of shows, some that are funded by Facebook themselves. It’s also going to be personalised, allowing you to discover new shows based on your interests as well as friend activity.

In addition to this, comments will be viewable in real time, allowing you to connect with friends and dedicated groups of shows. I guess they’re trying to make it a social experience while they’re at it. Makes sense for a social network…

Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has said the following regarding the new service:

“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.”

Sounds to me like having your mates over for a film, but not physically having them over. At least you don’t have to worry about anybody speaking over the action. If it’s just a comment you can easily ignore it.

Video is obviously already available on Facebook, but it’s just mostly amateur clips of pets and short segments from various organisations and TV shows. Something you see once, laugh, like and then never watch again.

Friends Watching TV

Could these days be nearing an end? Hopefully not… (Image: Shutterstock)

This new “Watch” featured could open new revenue potential for both Facebook as well as content creators, so this is great news for any of you creative minds out there. In similar fashion to YouTube, targeted advertising is expected to be seen before and during shows.

“Watch” will see a limited release in the US before it’s made more broadly available. Currently, various media groups such as Vox Media, BuzzFeed, ATTN and Group Nine Media are lined up to create their own shows for the platform.

The prospect of Facebook’s “Watch” sort of excites me. While YouTube is still popular, it has become quite stale for any new and upcoming content creators. It’s not as easy to get people to watching your videos as it used to be.

What are your thoughts? Do you prefer the idea of watching your favourite shows online? Or is scheduled live TV still the best way forward? Weigh in your opinions below in the comments!

Source: BBC


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Technology wizard and keen PC gamer. Prefers not to associate himself with “console peasants” if he can help it.