The new Watch Tab will start to roll out to a limited number of people in the USA, and the plan is to bring it to more people soon.
Facebook Inc.'s much-anticipated video product will be available beginning Thursday for some U.S. users, featuring short episodic series from content partners such as A&E, Major League Baseball and National Geographic. Now we want to make it even easier to catch up with shows you love.
Called Watch, Facebook's new video hub will be available in its mobile apps, on its desktop site and through its connected-TV apps, but for now only "to a limited group of people in the US", according to a company blog post published after Business Insider and Mashable reported that Facebook would unveil Watch on Thursday. Watch will be available on mobile, desktop and Facebook's TV apps. There's also a Watchlist so you won't have to manually keep track of the shows you follow.
Watch is personalized to help you discover new shows, organized around what your friends and communities are watching. Eventually, Facebook will roll out Watch to more users and show producers.
Watch is a platform for all creators and publishers to find an audience, build a community of passionate fans, and earn money for their work. To jumpstart the creation process, the company has provided seed funding for several shows which focus on community-oriented themes. Some shows, of course, will be done live, or include live segments. Gabby Bernstein, a New York Times bestselling author, motivational speaker, and life coach, uses a combination of recorded and live episodes to connect with her fans and answer questions in real time. In other words, episodic content or regular shows that revolve around a theme or personality. Tastemade's Kitchen Little is a amusing show about kids who watch a how-to video of a recipe, then instruct professional chefs on how to make it.
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The new feature is not going to replace network television (at least not just yet), so don't get your hopes up. Unsurprisingly, the food doesn't always turn out as expected. "It can be a chance to share an experience and bring people together who care about the same things", wrote Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg in a post.
Facebook expects to see everything from comedy to live sports.
Facebook Watch is now in a limited testing phase in the U.S., available only to an exclusive group of users.