Facebook launches YouTube competitor called Watch

Facebook launches original video content in redesigned Watch tab

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Though to date some key music industry execs have been willing to cut Facebook some slack - despite it being very late to the licensing party - because of the way videos pop up in each user's feed, meaning that [a] it feels much more like a marketing platform and [b] it doesn't really compete head-on with Spotify and Apple Music et al, because it's not so easy to go in and demand and organise specific tracks.

Facebook has also funded some shows that are examples of community-oriented and episodic video series.

"Watch is personalized to help you discover new shows, organized around what your friends and communities are watching", said director of product Daniel Danker, in the blog post.

"We'll be introducing "Watch" to a limited group of people in the U.S. and plan to bring the experience to more people soon", it added.

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For the mean time, the company will be rolling out the Watch tab to a small group of U.S. users today, August 11, and will be available for mobile, desktop and Facebook's TV apps.

Facebook said it ranks content based on how relevant it is to the user, which can include factors like how long a user watches a video, how many they watch to the end, and whether or not they watch with sound. There are a few more interesting options, like a NASA science show, and a live National Geographic safari program.

He adds that he eventually sees Watch as a home to a variety of shows and original content, including reality shows, sports events, and content from regular Facebook users. And it is taking the risk out of the content-creation endeavor for many publishers, either by paying to offset their production costs or offering to license or buy their content outright, people familiar with the arrangements say.

Facebook also said that it's funding shows that are community-oriented and have a series of episodes, but did not specify the amount.

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"Facebook has been unable to get more than 30% of their audiences to surpass 2-second viewability", said Fielde Garthwaite, co-founder and CEO of the TV analytics platform Iris.TV.

It's a potential threat to Twitter, YouTube, Netflix and other services for watching video. Users will also be able to view comments and connect with friends and dedicated groups of the shows.

Watchlist feature of the tab will help users to easily follow their favorite shows.

The social media tycoon also features a total of 1.32 billion people on average who log onto Facebook daily active users (Facebook DAU) for June 2017, which represents a 17 percent increase year and 1.74 billion mobile active users (Mobile Facebook MAU) for December 2016 which is an increase of 21% year-over-year. Group Nine Media, the parent of NowThis News, The Dodo and Thrillist, said it is launching a whopping 24 shows across its various brands.

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