Facebook is taking a cue from Google. The company wants you to turn to the News Feed when it comes to watching video. To make things a little easier on those who prefer to enjoy video on the big screen, the company has started allowing users to stream content to the Apple TV via AirPlay and to Google Cast-enabled devices.
The feature is available on the Facebook iOS app and, according to Facebook, it will be available on Android soon. The best thing about it, however, is how easy it is to use. Simply find a video you want to watch, then tap the TV button and select which device the app should stream to.
Another highlight of the feature is that it is truly built for Facebook — that is to say, when you are watching a video on the big screen, your phone is not on lockdown until the video is over. Instead, you can keep scrolling through the News Feed, treating your TV as more of a second screen than simply a mirror of your phone.
It is interesting that it took this long for the feature to become standard in the Facebook app. The company added the ability to use AirPlay in the iPad app way back in 2011. Despite that, there has been a real push of late for companies to embrace video and this move is simply another step for Facebook in that direction.
The move is also an important step for Facebook in establishing dominance in the living room. While Apple and Google have both made significant strides in that area with the Apple TV and Android TV, respectively, Facebook has not been able to do the same. With the new app functionality, Facebook is not just the first or second screen — it’s both.