It wasn’t that long ago that Facebook introduced us to their live video streaming platform, Facebook Live. Now, the beyond highly successful social media company is kicking things up a notch and launching a new platform, Watch.
Watch, is the new home for online shows. It consists of everything from live sports, reality TV, comedy, scripted programs, informative and anything else you can think of that will let creators connect with their online audience.
The new platform will be organized under a show page, rather than being organized by a place or profile page. Any content produced exclusively for it by partners will earn 55 percent of ad break revenue while Facebook ends up keeping 45 percent of it.
According to Tech Crunch, “Watch features personalized recommendations of live and recorded shows to watch, plus categories like “Most Talked About,” “What’s Making People Laugh” and “Shows Your Friends Are Watching.” When companies create their shows, they can also share it on their News Feed to allow their followers to see the new content and to help people discover them. There will also be an option on the Watchlist feature that will allow people to subscribe to updates alerting them of new episodes of their favorite shows. Shows will also be linked to Groups, allowing fans to connect with each other and the creators.
As of right now, only a limited number of users in the U.S will be able to use Watch. In the beginning, the platform will only put out content from creators who have either been invited by Facebook and/or who have invested money in participating in the rollout. Eventually Watch will feature a much broader group, but for now, it is limited.
The “Inquiry” page also has a drop-down menu that suggests options for a wide range of people to create content, including, artists, individual producers, musicians, sports and media organizations.
Facebook also has admitted to funding some of the shows as examples, but says, “We want any publisher/creator who is interested to be able to create a show in the future,” a Facebook spokesperson says. “So there will be hundreds of shows at launch, and we’ll hopefully scale to thousands.”
So how do content creators get paid for their shows? Facebook says it will be through Ad Breaks, which have already been used to showcase advertising during live streams. In addition, show producers “can also create sponsored shows using our branded content tag,” says Facebook.
Facebook’s director of video product Daniel Danker says, “More and more people are coming to Facebook in order to watch a video. When they come with that in mind, we want to make a place for them where they can find that video, connect with the creators and publishers they love, and know they won’t miss out if there’s a new episode from one of those creators.”
Here’s a list of some of the original programming that will be available on Watch:
- Tastemade’s Kitchen Little – This cooking show sees kids watch a how-to recipe video, then instruct a pro chef how to make the dish with comedic results
- Major League Baseball – The MLB will broadcast one game a week live on Facebook
- Major League Baseball “12:25 Live” – A comedic look at baseball with help from the fans
- Mike Rowe – Rowe finds people who’ve done great things for their community and gives them a special experience in return
- Nas Daily – Vlogger Nas (Correction: Not the rapper) makes videos with his biggest friends each day
- Gabby Bernstein – Motivational speaker and author answers fans’ life questions in live and recorded segments
- A&E’s “Bae or Bail:” – Reality TV game show where couples face their fears and see who runs
- All Def Digital’s “Inside the Office” – A look inside the office life at Russel Simmons’ hip-hop media empire
- Billboard’s “How it Went Down” – A documentary series of musicians sharing crazy stories
- David Lopez’s “My Social Media Life” – A reality show about the social media star’s life
- Golden State Warriors’ “Championship Rewind” – A behind-the-scenes look at the Bay Area’s NBA championship 2016-2017 season
- Univision Deportes’ “Liga MX” – Live coverage of Liga MX soccer matches
- National Geographic’s “We’re Wired that Way:” – Mini-documentaries about weird quirks of humanity like songs you can’t get out of your head
- Nat Geo WILD’s “Safari Live” – Watch live safaris led by National Geographic’s guides
- NASA’s “Science @ NASA” – Explore science topics in quick four to five-minute episodes
- NBA’s “WNBA All-Access” – A behind the scenes show with women’s basketball stars
- The Dodo’s “Comeback Kids: Animal Edition” features determined animals facing difficult conditions or challenges meet people who refuse to give up on them.
- Tommy Mac – A master woodworker gives live tutorials on how to make furniture
Facebook has given us many reasons to spend so much time on its platform and having Watch is just another way to engage fans and followers. This new platform is only at the beginning stages of what it could mean for the social media website itself and for companies everywhere in the future. This new online marketing tool is truly about to be a game-changer for social media marketing and engaging people and customers.