The new section, called Watch, is meant to increase the amount of time users spend watching video by giving them a place to follow and discuss original shows, which can then be shared via their news feeds and in Facebook groups, according to product director Daniel Danker. It also allows users to add and view comments, connect with friends directly while watching shows and join dedicated Facebook Groups for a particular show.
Also on Watch will be the Golden State Warriors' "Champions Rewind", an eight-part video series that traces its road this past season to the National Basketball Association championship with episodes dropping every Thursday this summer.
Although rivals like YouTube and Snapchat have already experimented with original video content creation, Facebook's "Watch" will have an advantage because of its cross-platform nature. Facebook has announced "Watch", which is described as a "new platform for shows on Facebook". Until it comes around to this side of the world, just expect Facebook to slowly roll out Watch to desktop, mobile as well as its TV apps.
In a post on Facebook yesterday, he noted: "We believe it's possible to rethink a lot of experiences through the lens of building community - including watching video". Facebook said the videos that will appear in Watch will be pulled from creators and publishers who have created "Show" pages on Facebook - akin to how some small businesses create a dedicated page.
For now, Watch is launching for a limited audience in the United States and more regions will follow soon. If that isn't enough to make you delete your Facebook account, each programme will also feature a comments section, so you can smack-talk other viewers during a show. While it is not clear what exactly they are looking for in terms of content, a few broad ideas including shows that actively engage families and communities, live shows to connect with fans, shows with a consistent theme or story arc, and live sports events have been mentioned. Content will include original shows directly funded by Facebook and videos from other creators, all neatly laid out in a tab that will become personalized once it learns enough about your watching preferences and habits.
Facebook also hopes the Watch tab will open up a new method of advertising that doesn't clutter users' News Feeds, and keep its 2 billion users on its site longer.
Major League Baseball - MLB will be broadcasting a game every week on Facebook Watch. There's also the opportunity to create sponsored shows.
Among the shows Facebook is paying for are "Returning the Favor", a show about inspiring people starring Mike Rowe, who was the host of "Dirty Jobs".