Its plans have been regularly leaked in recent months, but Facebook has now officially announced its ‘Watch’ platform for TV-style shows on its network.
“Watch will be available on mobile, on desktop and laptop, and in our TV apps. Shows are made up of episodes — live or recorded — and follow a theme or storyline,” explained the company.
Initially, it’s available “to a limited group of people in the US” with plans for a wider rollout in that country in the coming weeks, but no news yet on international plans.
Facebook is working with a small group of producers and MCNs to source the shows for now, including funding some shows “to help seed the ecosystem, gather feedback, and inspire others”. The longer-term plan appears to be opening up Watch to all ‘creators’ much like YouTube.
And all of this content will be navigated via social signals: “personalised to help you discover new shows, organised around what your friends and communities are watching,” as Facebook put it.
“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.”