More details are emerging about Facebook’s grand strategy for original programming. The company rolled out a video app for Samsung Smart TVs and Apple TV last week, but for now it remains limited to content already available on users’ News Feeds. But that could all change in the immediate future.
Facebook is reportedly pursuing deals for episodic original shows similar to what you’d find on television, according to anonymous sources who spoke to The Wall Street Journal. The company is only interested in entertainment at this point, as it looks to stock up on content for a new and improved video tab, which will be available across the web, mobile and on its Facebook Video app. Facebook exec, and College Humor co-founder, Ricky Van Veen is reportedly attempting to license shows from a variety of genres, including sports, science, pop culture, lifestyle, gaming, and teens.
The shows will range between 3 to 30 minutes and will be highlighted within the tab via a new “spotlight” feature. Alongside its plans to share ad-revenue, with producers netting 55 percent of ad sales, Facebook envisions “spotlight” as another way to attract content creators. The feature will reportedly pick out around a dozen video series for prominent placement within the video tab on the Facebook mobile app, reports Digiday. The line-up will be refreshed after a period of 24 hours, which brings to mind Snapchat’s Discovery media section home to episodic magazines and videos.
What viewers won’t see on Facebook are news shows. Much to the alleged chagrin of news publishers — which Facebook previously paid to use its Live Video feature — the social platform is apparently no longer keen on their content. Perhaps it’s still reeling from its fake news crisis, or maybe it just doesn’t want to be seen as partisan based on the news shows it licenses. Whatever its reasoning, the report claims Facebook is avoiding news altogether.
Users who aren’t interested in video should be aware that the launch of the new and improved video tab will not result in clips vanishing from the News Feed. Aside from the fact that viral videos are still ubiquitous on the platform, Facebook also reportedly plans to serve teasers for its originals on the News Feed in the hopes that they will draw more users to its entertainment hub.
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