Facebook Introduces ‘Watch’

Facebook understands the power of video. It’s easy to create, share, discover, and most importantly, develops a sense of community between those that watch together – be it figuratively or literally. Longer form video content has been a part of Facebooks future for a long time, and today, with the announcement of Watch, we learn where that content will live. Watch is a new platform for shows on Facebook and will be available across mobile, desktop, laptop, and TV apps – basically anywhere you can access the platform aside from your wrist.

Like all things Facebook, Watch is designed to foster that sense of community. The recommended shows you get are based on content that your friends are watching, what they’re talking about, and what’s making them laugh. Facebook also takes it a step further by creating dedicated groups for shows, keeping the post-show conversation local.

Once you find a few shows you like, Facebook makes it easy to follow them, as new episodes will routinely show up on your Watchlist. What kind of shows can you follow? Well, seems like a pretty broad range at the moment. Based on their blog post announcement, the goal is “for all creators and publishers to find an audience, build a community of passionate fans, and earn money for their work. We think a wide variety of Facebook shows can be successful” and goes on to classify that shows should try and engage and connect with fans, follow a narrative, or bring communities together (there’s that word again).

A few days ago, YouTube announced it’s in-app messaging service, which essentially was a step towards turning YouTube, into Facebook. Today, Facebook announced Watch, which is a step towards turning Facebook, into YouTube. Facebook has the advantage though, because of that ever so important word – community.

Implications

The ability for someone to find content they enjoy, and share it with their network on Facebook has always been around – and frankly, it’s part of what’s made Facebook so special. Now that they’re dedicating a place for independent creators and vloggers alike to post their content, that share-ability will help to determine who the newest social media stars will be.

For brands, this means that if you don’t have a Facebook video-ad strategy in place, it’s time to take that very seriously. As these shows become more and more popular, it will be very easy to find ones that encompass your values and cater to your target market, becoming part of that community.

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