Facebook has been expanding its video features for some time now and it’s well-known now that Mark Zuckerberg sees video as the future of the platform. Now, Facebook has introduced Watch, a new video channel hosted on Facebook where creators and publishers can upload original TV shows.
Watch will exist as a dedicated tab inside of the Facebook app, or when accessing it through a web browser on PC or mobile, where you’ll be able to discover shows — live or recorded — that “follow a theme or storyline.”
“Watch is a platform for all creators and publishers to find an audience, build a community of passionate fans, and earn money for their work,” wrote Facebook in its announcement post. “We think Watch will be home to a wide range of shows, from reality to comedy to live sports.” Take a peek at what it looks like in the trailer below.
These shows will be visible in several categories like “Most Talked About,” “What’s Making People Laugh,” and “What Friends Are Watching,” which will be available in the “discover” section of the Watch tab. There will also be a “watchlist” section which will pool videos that you haven’t seen yet from your preferred creators.
Facebook also wants to focus on the social and discussion aspect of Facebook to help create communities around the TV shows. “Comments and reactions to a video are often as much a part of the experience as the video itself,” wrote Facebook. “So when you watch a show, you can see comments and connect with friends and other viewers while watching, or participate in a dedicated Facebook Group for the show.”
If you think it sounds slightly weird or confusing, you’re not alone: there’s still a lot we don’t know about Watch, like if it will house other videos or just Facebook’s original shows, or who will be allowed to publish there (The Verge says that Facebook “expects to let anyone publish to it,” eventually).
The service is rolling out to a limited selection of US Facebook users for the moment, but the company said it wants to bring the service to more people soon.
If you want to download the latest Facebook update, do so via the Play Store link below and give us your thoughts on Facebook’s latest moves in the comments.
Previous Facebook updates
Facebook update: Facebook GIF reply
June 15: Facebook now allows users to send GIFs as replies. The changes went into effect yesterday, so you should now see a GIF button beside the Emoji and Sticker buttons when you write a reply on Facebook. With this, you can insert a trending GIF, or search for something specific.
Facebook update: Live Chat with Friends
May 23: Facebook’s regular live video chat is good, but sometimes you want to get a little more personal. Live Chat with Friends makes it possible to pull people aside and start a private conversation regarding your video. And the conversation can continue through Facebook Messenger once the live video has concluded.
Facebook update: React to Facebook comments, not just posts
May 5: It was early last year that Facebook introduced us to what the company calls “reactions”: ranging from love to angry, the update did not bring the dislike button that all of us had been waiting for, but it opened up a whole new world for self-expression. These reactions were initially limited to Facebook posts, but the social media giant recently integrated them into its Messenger app. Now, you have the exact six emojis for comments as well.
Facebook update: Snapchat-like camera features
March 28: Facebook has rolled out three new camera-centric features to its Android and iOS apps. The improvements arrive as Facebook takes further steps to compete with the ever-popular messaging app Snapchat — and fans of that might find these new additions quite familiar.
“Direct “essentially mimics the core functionality of Snapchat: you can share photos and videos with specific friends that will be viewable for a limited time only. Stories is a feature which lets you share photos and videos which can be viewed for 24 hours. The last update straight ‘outta Snapchat comes in the form of camera effects. Facebook is rolling out a number these, including filters, masks and “dynamic objects” that can be applied to your snaps. In addition, the camera icon will now be accessible from the top left corner of the Facebook app, or by swiping right on the News Feed, to make photos even easier to take.
Facebook update: Desktop/laptop streaming
March 23: Having enabled live streaming through its mobile app last year, Facebook has announced that live video can now be broadcast from desktop and laptop devices too. Facebook announced the addition on March 22, and you should be able to find the “live video” button at the top of your News Feed or Timeline on the desktop version of the Facebook site. Once you click it, you can follow the prompts to add a description and select your audience, before beginning your broadcast.