On Wednesday, Facebook announced the rollout of new tab ‘Watch,’ what it is calling “a new platform for shows on Facebook.” This redesigned video tab, which will launch for a limited number of US users for now and become available to more users in the coming weeks, will feature about 40 original series produced exclusively for Facebook users, with plans to eventually scale up to hundreds of shows.
This launch of “Watch’ tab is yet another foray by the Facebook from the business of distributing other people’s content into producing and licensing its own. ‘Watch’ content, which will be organized into sections such as “Most Talked About,” “What’s Making People Laugh” and What Friends Are Watching,” will be “produced exclusively for it by its partners,” who will take 55 % of ad revenues. Facebook also said it will finance some of the shows itself at first, “to help inspire creators and seed the ecosystem.”
“The Watch feature is personalized to help you discover new shows, suggesting new shows – both live and recorded, organized around what your friends and communities are watching. A Watchlist will help users keep track of programs.
“It is a platform for all creators and publishers to find an audience, build a community of passionate fans, and earn money for their work.” Daniel Danker, Facebook director of product, wrote in a blog post.
‘Watch’ differs from its existing video content in what it now looks a lot like Netflix or YouTube. The new feature, which will be available on mobile, desktop and Facebook’s TV apps, will feature a range of comedies, reality shows, and live sports. Facebook describes shows “that follow a consistent theme or storyline.”