Facebook Expansion Into Video Space
Now comes the real test: Facebook is lighting up a major new phase in its strategy to train users that it’s a place to watch a variety of TV-like entertainment.
Starting Thursday, Facebook’s Watch feature — essentially a programming guide to episodic shows hosted on the social platform — will become broadly available to users in the U.S., after a three-week limited beta run.
The Watch guide is stocked with several hundred shows, a mélange of scripted, reality, documentary and sports content of varying lengths from both traditional media companies and individual digital creators. (Here’s a select list of shows currently in Watch or coming soon.) The new Watch tab isn’t the only way to access the series: They’re also available through Facebook’s new “Show Pages,” which provide features specifically for episodic video content.
What It Means:
Facebook’s Watch, by creating a destination for viewers intending to consume video, should only spur more demand for lean-back entertainment, said Amy Emmerich, Refinery29’s chief content officer. “It’s about behavior – Facebook is helping its users create new behaviors,” said Emmerich, adding, “For us, as a partner for Facebook, it’s good to be one of the first ones in.”