Facebook Announces ‘Watch,’ A New Platform For Original Video Content

Facebook’s push to become a major power in the world of streaming video continued this week with the introduction of Watch, a new video platform featuring original and licensed shows on the social network.

“We’re introducing Watch, a new platform for shows on Facebook. Watch will be available on mobile, on desktop and laptop, and in our TV apps,” Facebook said in a post in its Newsroom. “Shows are made up of episodes — live or recorded — and follow a theme or storyline. To help you keep up with the shows you follow, Watch has a Watchlist so you never miss out on the latest episodes.”

According to a new report from TechCrunch, the platform will feature new shows from a variety of creators including network A&E and media brand Billboard, and — in Facebook’s words — will act as “a platform for all creators and publishers to find an audience, build a community of passionate fans, and earn money for their work.”

The new platform offers an opportunity for social interactions via the Facebook community of some two billion users. It will be “a place where you can discover shows your friends are watching and follow your favorite shows and creators so you don’t miss any episodes,” Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said.

“You’ll be able to chat and connect with people during an episode, and join groups with people who like the same shows afterwards to build community,” Zuckerberg continued.

Facebook said the shows would include videos of the Women’s National Basketball Association, a parenting show from Time Inc and a safari show from National Geographic. Facebook is already broadcasting some Major League Baseball games and that would continue, the company said.

Facebook is starting Watch’s rollout in the United States with a limited group of people, with promises to expand to everyone “soon.” But now you know what to expect, whenever you finally see that “Watch” tab pop up on your own feed.

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