By Daniel Danker, Director of Product
Update on 8/31: Over the next few days, Watch will be broadly available to people in the U.S. We’re excited to see how the community engages with shows – there will be hundreds to choose from — and we look forward to bringing the experience to more people in the future.
Watching video on Facebook has the incredible power to connect people, spark conversation, and foster community. On Facebook, videos are discovered through friends and bring communities together. As more and more people enjoy this experience, we’ve learned that people like the serendipity of discovering videos in News Feed, but they also want a dedicated place they can go to watch videos. That’s why last year we launched the Video tab in the US, which offered a predictable place to find videos on Facebook. Now we want to make it even easier to catch up with shows you love.
We’re introducing Watch, a new platform for shows on Facebook. Watch will be available on mobile, on desktop and laptop, and in our TV apps. Shows are made up of episodes — live or recorded — and follow a theme or storyline. To help you keep up with the shows you follow, Watch has a Watchlist so you never miss out on the latest episodes.
Watch is personalized to help you discover new shows, organized around what your friends and communities are watching. For example, you’ll find sections like “Most Talked About,” which highlights shows that spark conversation, “What’s Making People Laugh,” which includes shows where many people have used the Haha reaction, and “What Friends Are Watching,” which helps you connect with friends about shows they too are following.
We’ve learned from Facebook Live that people’s comments and reactions to a video are often as much a part of the experience as the video itself. So when you watch a show, you can see comments and connect with friends and other viewers while watching, or participate in a dedicated Facebook Group for the show.
A Platform for Shows
Watch is a platform for all creators and publishers to find an audience, build a community of passionate fans, and earn money for their work. We think a wide variety of Facebook shows can be successful, particularly:
- Shows that engage fans and community. Nas Daily publishes a daily show where he makes videos together with his fans from around the world. The Watchlist makes it easy for fans to catch every day’s new episode.
- Live shows that connect directly with fans. Gabby Bernstein, a New York Times bestselling author, motivational speaker, and life coach, uses a combination of recorded and live episodes to connect with her fans and answer questions in real time.
- Shows that follow a narrative arc or have a consistent theme. Tastemade’s Kitchen Little is a funny show about kids who watch a how-to video of a recipe, then instruct professional chefs on how to make it. Each episode features a new child, a new chef, and a new recipe. Unsurprisingly, the food doesn’t always turn out as expected.
- Live events that bring communities together. Major League Baseball is broadcasting a game a week on Facebook, enabling people to watch live baseball while connecting with friends and fellow fans on the platform.
We think Watch will be home to a wide range of shows, from reality to comedy to live sports. To help inspire creators and seed the ecosystem, we’ve also funded some shows that are examples of community-oriented and episodic video series. For example, Returning the Favor is a series hosted by Mike Rowe where he finds people doing something extraordinary for their community, tells the world about it, and in turn does something extraordinary for them. Candidates are nominated by Mike’s fans on Facebook.
We’re excited to see how creators and publishers use shows to connect with their fans and community. You can learn more about making shows on our Media blog.
We’ll be introducing Watch to a limited group of people in the US and plan to bring the experience to more people soon. Similarly, we’ll be opening up shows to a limited group of creators and plan to roll out to all soon.