by: Shanthi Rexaline, Benzinga Staff Writer
Innovation is the only constant in the constantly evolving tech world, and companies risk their very existence and survival if they remain stagnant and don't innovate.
Watch Out For Watch
The social media giant announced the launch of Watch on its namesake Facebook application on Aug. 9.
The Watch is a new platform on Facebook for watching shows on Facebook and it would be available on desktop, laptop, mobile and in TV apps. The shows aired would consist of episodes, which may be live or recorded and follow a theme or storyline.
The video content on Watch is original and is produced exclusively for Facebook by its partners. Revenue (ad-break revenue) sharing between Facebook and the content creators is 45:55.
The Watch platform has a Watchlist so users don't miss out on any of the episodes.
"Watch is personalized to help you discover new shows, organized around what your friends and communities are watching," Facebook said in the release.
About access to the new platform, Facebook said it will be introducing it to a limited group of people in the U.S., with plans to expand it further soon. Facebook also said Shows would be opened up to limited creators initially.
This is clearly a move to increase user engagement, with the platform opening up an avenue for people exchanging their views about the shows among their communities. A user gets to discover new shows, which would be drawn from the preferences of your friends and communities.
"For example, you'll find sections like 'Most Talked About,' which highlights shows that spark conversation, 'What's Making People Laugh,' which includes shows where many people have used the Haha reaction, and 'What Friends Are Watching,' which helps you connect with friends about shows they too are following," Facebook said.
Moving away from mere passive watching, Watch allows to see comments and connect with friends and other viewers while watching, or participate in a dedicated Facebook Group for the show.
Taking A Potshot At YouTube
"It feels like much more of a direct attack on Alphabet Inc GOOGL 0.1%GOOG 0.08%'s YouTube than on Netflix, Inc. NFLX 0.13%. YouTube has a huge lead with a billion and a half people watching an hour every day so this is no easy task," the FT reported , quoting BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield.
Just as YouTube has created overnight sensations and celebrities by serving up content through its video platform, Facebook has promoted Watch as a platform for all creators and publishers to find an audience, build a community of passionate fans, and earn money for their work.
The one area where Facebook's Watch can distinguish itself from YouTube is its superiority in personalizing video recommendations. This is because Facebook already knows a lot about your tastes and preferences from the posts to which you react and the pages you follow.
YouTube has viewing history to fall back on, which means that new users may not receive much help by way of suggestions.
The Watch also stands to benefit from the reach Facebook offers, with even users not seeking videos lured into watching. Meanwhile, YouTube videos would be used by only by those actively seeking videos.
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