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News Room

Is Facebook ‘Watch’ Taking It Too Far?

Melissa Cohen
2017-08-17
Facebook has just launched a video streaming tab on their site. Is Facebook trying too hard to compete with YouTube? We find out.
Facebook has become billions of peoples' "go-to" source of entertainment. Whether it be in the queue at the grocery store or even on the toilet (yes, we have all done it), Facebook is quickly consuming our lives. If you thought it wasn't bad enough, the billion dollar enterprise has now launched a video streaming tab on the app. 'Watch' as it is known is Zuckerberg's latest cat out of the big bag of tricks. But is Facebook just trying too hard?
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Video Viewing At A Click Of A Button

Nowadays, the number of videos that appear on one's news feed is more than pictures. With other apps like Instagram, pictures are so 'yester year' on the Book. Videos seem to be all the rave at the moment and this is where Facebook has decided to weave its way into coining another buck or two. There are currently more than 2 billion Facebook users worldwide, so getting traction on a new tab for Facebook is pretty simple. Good marketing campaigns mixed with some personalized filters, and Facebook is sure to have people begging for more. Although Facebook already has a bunch of videos and a video tab, the Watch tab is angled at a different market. Basically they are trying to challenge YouTube and provide users with access to a variety of shows and videos that are relevant to them.

So How Will This Work? 

Well it's pretty simple. Facebook has signed a bunch of publishers to create content that will be posted online. Users will be able to access and watch this content using the 'Watch' function for free. The aim would be to essentially provide users with the opportunity to watch videos and shows that interest them at any given time. The 'Watch' tab will be personalized so if you are one of those cat loving individuals who loves a daily dose of cat videos, then Facebook will have that ready and waiting. Not only that, but Facebook will connect you with other people who also enjoy watching cat videos. The aim of Facebook is to form communities, so by launching this tab, people will be able to communicate around the shows that they are watching.

YouTube vs. Watch

YouTube has always been the number one online video viewing site worldwide. With over 1.3 billion viewers, YouTube is definitely doing something right. Facebook, has however, always tried to add every feature from every other app available on to their site. Like the 'My Story' feature which is like Snapchat. It worked well on Snapchat, however, hasn't really hit off on Facebook. Is this going to be the same for Watch or is there still hope for Facebook and their big dreams? Well, according to a Cisco forecast, by 2021, 82% of internet traffic will be made up of videos. This may be so, but will Facebook Watch be booming or will it be dead and buried by then?
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The Nitty Gritty

Watch is currently being tried and tested on a small community of Americans. However it will be made available to the rest of the world on August 28. Here are a few publishers who will be providing content to Watch:
  • A&E
  • Conde Nast
  • National Geographic
  • Major Baseball League
Just to make it even more personalized, there is a 'Watchlist' feature. This gives viewers the opportunity to list all the videos they have watched as well as list the ones they want to watch. Users can find this tab at the bottom of the main page. The Watch icon is in the shape of a TV. So keep your eyes peeled for another new add-on to the Facebook brand! Realistically speaking, is YouTube just a tad too big for Facebook to try and compete? I guess we will have to wait to find out...
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