“Watch” will initially be limited to a select group and will eventually expand to global video content producers.
In a significant development, Facebook Inc. made its biggest move to date in its efforts to expand its footprint in its video offering by entering into the television market. Its programming will range from parenting programs, professional women’s basketball to a safari show.
To begin with its redesigned product, called “Watch,” will be available to a select group of consumers in the U.S. on its television apps, mobile app, and its website, said the company.
Last year, Facebook, the world’s largest social network, had added a video tab which underscored its intentions of wanting to become a source of well-produced videos and original content.
In May, Facebook had signed deals with Vox Media, Group Nine Media and BuzzFeed, all of which are entertainment and news creators to produce both scripted and unscripted shows.
“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,” said Daniel Danker, Facebook’s product director, in a statement.
In a Facebook post, the company’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg wrote, Watch would allow users to “chat and connect with people during an episode, and join groups with people who like the same shows afterwards to build community.”
On Wednesday, ATTN stated it had two original series slated for Facebook Watch. While one is a relationship advice show and the other is a health program featuring actress Jessica Alba.
The platform will eventually be open to any video show creator said Facebook.
Menlo Park, California-based Facebook will face a crowded market and fierce competition from not only traditional television networks but also new age content producers including Alphabet Inc’s YouTube, Snap Inc, Netflix Inc and Twitter Inc.