Facebook has launched Watch, a new platform for television shows on Facebook, initially only available to a limited group of people in the US. It is intended to combat rivals such as Google’s YouTube and Snapchat video.
The new platform, available on mobile, desktop, and Facebook TV apps (including those made for Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV), will be rolled out to more people in the US in the coming weeks. Watch replaces the Videos tab within the Facebook mobile app, which launched last year
Facebook is starting Watch by testing with a limited group of publishers and creators who are making shows. Facebook is also funding some shows “to help seed the ecosystem, gather feedback, and inspire others.”
“We hope Watch will be home to a wide range of shows — from reality to comedy to live sports,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post.
“Some will be made by professional creators, and others from regular people in our community.”
Watch will let users discover videos from outside of their feed more easily, create watchlists, and have an easier way to follow shows created by artists, brands and publishers.
Over time, creators will be able to monetise their shows through Ad Breaks. Facebook has been testing Ad Breaks over the past few months, and will be slowly opening up availability to more creators, who can also create sponsored shows using the branded content tag.