Facebook has announced the launch of Watch, a new platform for shows that is set to compete with Google’s YouTube.
Watch is personalised to help users discover new shows, organised around what their friends and communities are watching.
For example, users will 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 users connect with friends about shows they too are following.
When users watch a show, they can see comments and connect with friends and other viewers while watching, or participate in a dedicated Facebook Group for the show.
Watch will be home to a wide range of shows, from reality to comedy, to live sports. It will initially be available to a limited group of people in the US on mobile, desktop, and our TV apps, before it becomes available to more people in the US in the coming weeks.
Shows are made up of episodes – live or recorded – and follow a theme or storyline. To help users keep up with the shows they follow, Watch also offers a ‘Watchlist’ option.
Because it is still in the early stages of Watch, Facebook is starting by testing with a limited group of publishers and creators who are making shows. The company is also funding some shows to help seed the ecosystem, gather feedback and inspire others.