Facebook completes second successful test of internet beaming drones.
Facebook launched a new platform called “Watch” on Thursday for shows that will be produced exclusively for it by partners. The new service, which will feature about 40 original series, will first be introduced to a limited number of people in the US, followed by users in other parts of the world soon.
Launching on Thursday to a small number of users in the US, ‘Watch’ is a revamped, pumped up version of the US-only Video tab, which it’s also replacing. Through Watch, Facebook will serve up video content on iOS, Android, desktop, laptop and its TV applications.
Just like a typical television program, Watch shows will center on a theme or story line. These won’t be user-generated Facebook Live broadcasts, but rather professional-grade productions, including content from the likes of A&E, National Geographic, the NBA and Time Inc., according to Variety. Some shows, of course, will be done live, or include live segments.
Every show on ‘Watch’ includes a comment section, letting you follow the conversation and engage with your own hot take. This brings a social element to the mix, though live chat is a feature we’ve already seen on YouTube. You’ll be able to keep tabs on your favorite programs through the Watchlist, and scope what your friends are tuning into or explore categories like “Most Talked About” and “What’s Making People Laugh” to discover more shows.
Some of the shows will be paid for by the social network.
Facebook founder Mark Zukerberg said in a post on the site, ‘Watching ashow doesn’t have to be passive. It can be a chance to share an experience and bring people together who care about the same things. That’s why we’re launching the Watch tab in Facebook- a place where you can discover shows your friends are watching and follow your favourite shows and creators so you don’t miss any episodes’.
He said some of the content would be made by ‘professional creators’ and others by ‘regular people in our community’.
Facebook said it was starting by ‘testing with a limited group of publishers and creators who are making shows’.
It pitches the firm against Google- owner of YouTube- as well as the likes of Netflix and Amazon.
The announcement comes after entertainment giant Disney said it was also launching its own streaming service.