Facebook is ready to roll out their attempt at taking on YouTube.
On Wednesday, Facebook announced that it will begin rolling out a revamped version of the existing home for videos that caters to the original, episodic shows Facebook has been licensing to make people think of it as a digital video service on par with YouTube, Netflix and Hulu.
Facebook’s new video hub, called Watch, will be available in its mobile apps, on the desktop site, and even through its connected-TV apps. Right now, it’s only limited to a group of people in the U.S. This is based off a company blog post published after Business Insider and Mashable reported that Facebook would unveil Watch on Tuesday.
Even though plenty of people are already watching a lot of videos on Facebook, they typically don’t think of Facebook as a place to watch video. We know that Facebook is full of videos, and for Facebook, the more videos there are on their platform, the more ads there will be on them, and that means more money for the company. Facebook does want people to think of Facebook as a place to also watch video.
Video can’t completely overtake people’s news feeds because:
- Not everyone that a person is friends with on Facebook posts videos, and if people feel like Facebook is no longer a place to keep up with their friends and family, they might look for another social network to fill that gap.
- If media companies producing TV-style shows have to compete with your aunt’s clips of her cat doing cat things for your attention, they may not win and may decide to take that programming elsewhere, like YouTube or Snapchat.
- Advertisers may be more comfortable buying Facebook’s mid-roll ads when they’re running in the middle of a TV-style show than a closed-circuit video of a judge trying to understand why the defendant has no pants.
- People are more likely to sit through those ads if they’re already in the lean-back mindset of someone using a video service than in the scroll-happy stance of someone checking their Facebook feed.