Facebook has announced plans to enter the world of video streaming and unveiled Watch, a new section of the social media app that will be dedicated to TV shows.
The social network is introducing the Watch tab to desktop and mobile, and will fill it with shows – either live or recorded – made up of episodes on a similar theme.
The platform will also introduce a Watchlist where users can keep track of the latest episodes of shows they’re interested in.
Here’s everything we know so far about how Facebook Watch will work.
A Platform for Shows
That’s what Facebook is calling the new section, which will only be made available to users in the US for now, but is likely to expand outwards in the future.
Facebook says the Watch tab will feature content designed to “engage fans and community”, including videos from popular vloggers and online personalities.
The platform will also include live shows – for example question and answer sessions with motivational speakers. In short, Watch will be closer to YouTube than Netflix in terms of content type.
Facebook also confirmed a bold step into the world of live sports broadcasting by revealing that one Major League Baseball game a week will be shown on Watch.
There’s no word yet on if baseball will make it to Watch in the UK, but Twitter has already begun exploring this area itself – having shown some live content from Wimbledon on its own platform in July.
Facebook now looks set to follow that lead.
Watch will be customised according to what users, their friends and the communities they’re part of are consuming, Facebook says – but will also feature sections such as “Most Talked About” and “What’s Making People Laugh” to help steer users to shows they might like.
All the while the Watchlist will be used to ensure users don’t miss shows they like – with the latest episodes appearing in the Watchlist once a show has been “followed”.
It will also be possible to save episodes to watch later. These will appear in their own tab in the Watchlist.