After months of rumors and hints of a new Facebook video streaming service, the social networking and tech giant has finally unveiled their creation, called “Watch.” In a press release, Facebook describes Watch as a personalized social video sharing platform which will enable “all creators and publishers to find an audience, build a community of passionate fans, and earn money for their work.”
Daniel Danker, Director of Product at Facebook, writes that Watch will offer a diverse selection of programming, from smaller homemade productions to professional in-studio series:
We think Watch will be home to a wide range of shows, from reality to comedy to live sports. To help inspire creators and seed the ecosystem, we’ve also funded some shows that are examples of community-oriented and episodic video series.
One of Watch’s launch titles is Returning the Favor, a new series hosted by Mike Rowe in which Facebook users nominate individuals who are providing services for their community and Rowe meets with them to return their generosity.
Facebook believes there several types of series could will perform well on Watch: “Shows that engage fans and community;” “Live shows that connect directly with fans;” “Shows that follow a narrative arc or have a consistent theme;” and “Live events that bring communities together.” So…pretty much everything that exists on TV.
While Watch might not be breaking any ground in terms of offering new types of content, the social element which Facebook can uniquely offer can help make their new streaming service stand out in the ever-expanding and already crowded streaming market. Watch will offer personalization and social elements not typically found on other streaming services. Watch will allow users to sort videos in sections like “Most Talked About,” “What’s Making People Laugh,” and “What Friends Are Watching.”
Facebook’s new streaming service will begin rolling out in select markets over the next few weeks to get the bugs out, followed by a full release sometime this year. Watch will be available on mobile, PCs, and through Facebook’s Smart TV apps.