On August 9, Facebook revealed a new video tool that will provide its users with short, exclusive content from sports, entertainment and documentary producers, in a bid to increase its presence in the on-demand television market.
The product, named Watch, comes at a time when internet consumption is shifting towards mobile and video content, with tech companies rethinking products in order to meet users’ demands.
“As more and more people enjoy this experience, we’ve learned that people like the serendipity of discovering videos in News Feed, but they also want a dedicated place they can go to watch videos,” read a Facebook press release.
For now, the platform will only be available to a select group of users in the US. But figures released by Facebook in June suggest it could be scaled up to a mass of around two billion active monthly users.
Facebook has signed deals with content partners such as Vox Media, Buzzfeed and Major League Baseball
Users will be able to access Watch on mobile, desktop and laptop, as well as through Facebook’s TV app, with shows set to be delivered in episodes that can be contained in a ‘watchlist’.
According to Reuters, Facebook signed deals with content partners such as Vox Media and Buzzfeed three months ago. Other deals include A&E, Major League Baseball and National Geographic. Meanwhile, TechCrunch has revealed Facebook’s new partners will earn more than half of the service’s revenue, taking home 55 percent.
Facebook’s latest announcement illustrates the increasing competition in the digital video industry, where the largest players are moving fast to increase and retain their audiences.
For example, Netflix announced its first acquisition on August 7, while Disney pulled its content from Netflix the next day, announcing it would soon be launching its own streaming service.