Facebook Watch is Facebook’s new platform for original video content. After a limited rollout in August, the social media behemoth made the platform available to all users this past September.
It’s important to note that Watch is not a YouTube copycat. It’s not a platform for user generated video, at least not currently. Instead, Watch seems to be a legitimate first step into the world of original, online video entertainment (think Netflix, HULU, Amazon Prime, etc.) that allows media partners to create shows specifically for Facebook.
The plan, according to Facebook, is to develop a platform for “all creators and publishers to find an audience, build a community of passionate fans, and earn money for their work.”
And this could be massively disruptive . Like next level stuff. And I don’t think enough people realize it.
Currently, there are only a few hundred original pieces of content to be viewed—most of which seems to be reality TV, such as game shows (I Want My Phone Back, Virtually Dating) and off-beat educational/informative content (Humans of New York, Returning the Favor, Safari Live). Though there are some great dramas/comedies/scripted shows already on the platform (Strangers), with more to come.
But the thing you’ll want to watch about Watch (ha!) is how it evolves from here—especially when it comes to curating content for each specific user. If there’s one thing Facebook has proven time and time again, it’s their ability to adapt, evolve, and change the game with laser-like precision.
Additionally (depending on how and when they make the production/creation side available to more users) Watch has the potential to open up a whole new world of options for businesses, advertisers, smaller publications, independent filmmakers, and more.
And, here’s the kicker, if Facebook stays true to its promise of never charging users to use the site, then Watch will remain free forever.
One thing that really gets me excited about Facebook Watch is how it plays into the concept of Hyper-Personalization that we talked about earlier this year (a concept that Zuckerberg seems to be very familiar with).
Yes, most streaming services already curate shows based on your perceived tastes. But Facebook has SO much data to work with that they could deliver extremely relevant, poignant video content to its users in a way that other platforms can’t. And that’s going to be very, very valuable to publishers and producers—especially those that deal in niche content.
Innovations like Watch are the reason why I (and the rest of WideNet) continue to put so much emphasis on having a strong Facebook strategy. They’re slowly but surely changing everything about how interact with each other on the Internet. They’re innovating, adapting, and personalizing on a level that is miles above other social platforms.
Even better, this still just the beginning.