Face­book launches ri­val to Youtube

Web User - - Need To Know -

What hap­pened?

Face­book is work­ing on a video ser­vice that not only shows users’ own clips but TV pro­grammes, too. A new Watch tab will ap­pear in the so­cial network’s in­ter­face that users can open to view TV shows, in­clud­ing those made specif­i­cally for the site. This in­cludes short Youtubestyle videos, as well as more tra­di­tional tele­vi­sion such as sport­ing events – Ma­jor League Base­ball al­ready broad­casts one game a week on the site. Face­book says the move is in­tended to make it eas­ier for users to share pro­grammes and re­act to them live while watch­ing, al­though it prob­a­bly has an eye on lu­cra­tive video ad­ver­tis­ing, too.

How will it af­fect you?

So far, Face­book has rolled Watch out to a small group of users in the US, but it says it plans to of­fer the ser­vice more widely soon. It will prob­a­bly take a while to reach the UK due to li­cens­ing is­sues, al­though the cre­ators of these short shows and clips won’t face the same chal­lenges as TV pro­gramme mak­ers.

When Watch fi­nally ar­rives, your Face­book news feed will high­light what your friends are watch­ing, so be aware that your ev­ery in­ter­ac­tion with a video may be broad­cast to others. If you make your own video for the new ser­vice, Face­book will take 45% of the ad rev­enue.

What do we think?

There are al­ready plenty of video-stream­ing ser­vices, from Net­flix to Youtube, so we’re not sure the world needs another one. It’s not clear how view­ers will ben­e­fit from us­ing Face­book Watch rather than shar­ing Youtube videos in their news feeds. Both op­tions al­low com­ment­ing and in­ter­ac­tion, but only the former lets Face­book rake in ad money. The com­pany needs to pay for its servers some­how, but it must make sure it adds some­thing to the mix, or it will do lit­tle more than fill our news feeds with un­nec­es­sary up­dates about who’s watch­ing what.

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