TV-style shows on Face­book

Los Angeles Times - - BUSINESS - By Rachel Spacek rachel.spacek@la­times.com

The com­pany un­veils a new plat­form, called Watch, through which shows can be up­loaded and viewed.

Face­book Inc. is push­ing into the mar­ket for orig­i­nal stream­ing video se­ries, an­nounc­ing a plat­form through which TV-style shows can be up­loaded and viewed.

The so­cial me­dia gi­ant an­nounced Wed­nes­day that its new plat­form, Watch, will be avail­able on mo­bile, desk­top and lap­top apps to a lim­ited group of peo­ple in the U.S. be­fore ex­pand­ing to all users.

Face­book said each se­ries on Watch would be made up of episodes — live or recorded — that follow a sto­ry­line or theme. The plat­form will al­low users to com­ment, re­act and con­nect with other users while watch­ing a show and to sub­scribe to se­ries so new episodes ap­pear in a per­son­al­ized “Watch­list.”

Some shows “will be made by pro­fes­sional cre­ators, and oth­ers from reg­u­lar peo­ple in our com­mu­nity,” Face­book Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Mark Zucker­berg said in a post on the so­cial net­work.

Face­book is fund­ing a hand­ful of se­ries to kick off the plat­form, but even­tu­ally Watch is meant to fill up with se­ries that aren’t com­mis­sioned by the Menlo Park, Calif., com­pany.

Reuters re­ported in May that Face­book had signed deals with Vox Me­dia, Buz­zfeed, ATTN, Group Nine Me­dia and oth­ers to pro­duce shows. Other shows in­clude the Golden State War­riors’ “Cham­pi­onship Rewind,” Na­tional Geo­graphic’s “Sa­fari Live” and PopSu­gar’s “Pretty Un­fil­tered.”

ATTN an­nounced it will put two new orig­i­nal se­ries on Watch: “Health Hacks” with Jes­sica Alba, a show about health­ful eat­ing; and “We Need to Talk” with Nev Schul­man and Laura Per­longo, a re­la­tion­ship ad­vice se­ries.

Face­book said cre­ators and pub­lish­ers can earn money from their Watch se­ries. That could hap­pen through ad breaks or by get­ting spon­sor­ship from a brand.

The videos are re­quired to com­ply with Face­book’s Com­mu­nity Stan­dards, a set of rules that state what can be re­ported as in­ap­pro­pri­ate.

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