Facebook Watch Is Company's New Plan For Online Video

Facebook takes on YouTube with the debut of 'Watch'

These shows are to be with the feature on launch and are supposed to act like a springboard until more and more creators add content to the Watch feature.

On Wednesday, Facebook said it was introducing a platform called "Watch" that will allow users to discover new shows that their friends are also watching.

A "What's making People Laugh" category will list shows that people have used the "haha" reaction to describe. Watch is now being piloted among a limited group of USA users, and will roll out to all users "soon", Facebook said. Most users log on for updates from family and friends, or to interact with groups, not watch TV shows, so some re-training will be needed there.

It's a potential threat to Twitter, YouTube, Netflix and other services for watching video, including old-fashioned TV.

This is also part of the social media giant's push towards original video content as evidenced by the features that they've been bringing to the main app.

Facebook's 2017 mission is to focus on inclusivity by "giving people the power to build community and bring the world closer together".

The Watch show "inquiry" page includes a dropdown menu that suggests the company will consider a wide range of content creators, from individual producers, artists and musicians to sports and media organizations.

The "Watch" tab shows will start rolling out to a small group of U.S. users tomorrow on mobile, desktop and Facebook's TV apps.

The shows on Watch will be episodes that could be live or recorded, some of which Facebook will pay for.

Facebook Watch programming will debut August 28.

Users will also be able to see comments and connect with friends and dedicated groups for shows.

For content creators, the new service will be rolled out to a select number of publishers before being made available to more people.

Live events like the weekly games being broadcast by Major League Baseball.

According to Facebook, creators will one day be able to monetize their shows through ad breaks. Finally, Mark Zuckerberg and his team have announced a new tab inside the main Facebook app, marking the company's full-fledged entry into video space.

Among the shows Facebook is paying for are "Returning the Favor", a show about inspiring people starring Mike Rowe, who was the host of "Dirty Jobs".

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