Can Facebook get people to 'Watch'?

Beware YouTube, Netflix, Amazon and TV networks, as the most popular social media networking site, Facebook has finally announced its own new platform for watching video content.

Facebook will initially make the platform available on its desktop and app versions to a "limited group of people" in the United States, before rolling it out globally. In fact, the times were we used to sit in front of the TV are now switched to more actual ones in which we are able to comment on what others friends on Facebook are watching, so on and so forth. Just previous year, the social media giant launched a dedicated video platform.

"Watching a show doesn't have to be passive". Major League Baseball is broadcasting a game a week on Facebook, enabling people to watch live baseball while connecting with friends and fellow fans on the platform. However, Facebook's new addition might help them in this endeavor.

Ironically, Facebook has been challenged with proving out engagement and viewability for advertisers, despite its growing volume of video content.

For travel agents looking to use Facebook to reach potential clients, the move could make video a much bigger part of their marketing strategy.

Facebook also admitted that they had funded some of the original shows as examples, but clearly stated that these are only a small percentage of all the available shows. Facebook earns 45 percent of ad revenue generated from videos, wheres the publisher earns 55 percent.

"Facebook is building an ecosystem of video content and we're excited to experiment with new formats to continue to build our community on Facebook", he said.

"We'll be introducing "Watch" to a limited group of people in the USA and plan to bring the experience to more people soon", it added.

But, as Facebook's video channel becomes ever more like a YouTube clone, with new tools for browsing and organising content, the social media is indeed in danger of becoming a competitor to the cash cow premium streaming services. "We've seen tremendous success with our video that is shared natively to Facebook [and] their scale and engagement levels is an encouraging baseline". Offering original content only found on Facebook may also keep more eyeballs glued to the screen. One source said YouTube was a better home for its existing community, where Facebook's NewsFeed could help them connect with a new audience. "As a programmer, that's incredibly exciting especially when Facebook has said they are going to invest a lot of equity and energy into this". Additionally, Facebook counts over 2 billion monthly users, higher than YouTube's 1.5 billion logged-in monthly users and Snap's 173 million daily users.

Vanessa Coleman

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