Facebook, has proven that it is not just watching a video but watching live reactions coming in for the video that contribute hugely to the experience. The social media giant announced recently that a new platform for original videos, called Watch will be available on mobile, desktop and laptops as well as in TV apps. While it will be introduced to a limited number of people in US, with shows opening up to a limited group of creators, there are plans to roll out to more soon.
Following the format of TV shows, i.e. episodes, Watch allows customers to create a Watchlist giving a personalized experience by helping you discover new shows, find out what your friends and communities are watching and also connect with friends that are following similar shows. You can catch up on every day’s episodes, watch live events be it sports or reality, be part of a wider community that is interested in a particular show/event and all of this while continuing the basic ethos of Facebook i.e. ‘connecting with friends’.
So what does it mean to marketers? It is a platform for all creators and publishers. From finding an audience to building communities of passionate fans to making money for their work, all of this is possible via this very platform. There is a huge opportunity for creators to build content that connects fans, builds communities and further benefits the ecosystem. Creators of both original content as well as user-generated, will be able to eventually monetize their shows through Ad breaks, with partners earning 55% of ad revenue while Facebook keeps 45%. This will be delivered via a personalized tab that will soon replace the existing video tab.
Video is exploding like never before, and Facebook being well aware of this is definitely entering a hugely crowded online video market. Well, it has its huge customer base to leverage and what better than using this platform to their advantage as well as its own. It will be interesting to see how users take to watching longer video including mid roll advertisements. What this means for other video specific channels like You Tube and Netflix – time will only tell. But one thing is certain, the need to evolve is far greater right now else there will be quiet a few players never to be seen again!