Facebook Introduces New ‘Watch’ Video Platform

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In effort to compete with YouTube, Facebook is rolling out a new platform on which users can watch, share and follow their favorite shows.

Known as Watch, it goes beyond standard web clips by featuring original programming like sports, documentaries, reality shows, tutorials and more. Some of the shows are pre-recorded, whereas others are streamed live. Best of all, Watch offers customized programming recommendations based on users’ viewing history and interests.

While Facebook is still in the early stages of rolling out Watch, it already has an attractive lineup of shows. American actor and former host of Dirty Jobs Mike Rowe will host a talk show on the platform; A&E is planning a reality game show for couples; and National Geographic will stream live safari guides.

There’s also a monetary incentive for publishers to create and upload original videos to Facebook Watch. Like YouTube, Facebook also Watch publishers to earn revenue on their content, using the same 45/55 revenue split. Facebook earns 45 percent of ad revenue generated from videos, wheres the publisher earns 55 percent. Ad revenue is completely optional, however, and publishers may choose to opt out.

Facebook Watch is also said to be cross-compatible with all devices, meaning users can access content on desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets and more. And given that Facebook is closing in on nearly two billion monthly users, it could provide publishers with a massive viewing audience.

Of course, this isn’t the first time Facebook has experimented with video. Just last year, the social media giant launched a dedicated video platform. While still available, this platform is geared more fore generic videos that users share on their News Feeds. The new Facebook Watch platform, on the other hand, aims to provide users with original content that’s not found elsewhere.

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