The redesign on Wednesday provides the new Watch function, which acts as a regular area to access both scripted and live video content. In the long term, the idea is that when you visit to watch your favourite programming is already there. Given Facebooks immense success through advertising it is a natural progression towards providing access to newer and larger pocketed advertisers through live programming.
In reality, Facebook is betting that adding its social component will give it an advantage over firms such as Netflix which already maintain access to a large network of shows, including privately made content. The watch function seems to also follow facebooks recent testing with online video monetization as over the last few months streamers with over 300 live viewers would unlock access to the monetized video. Similarly to the role out of the first monetization tool, a small number of content producers will gain access to it during testing.
It also seems like Facebook is openly aiming to compete with Youtube in terms of average time spent on the network. Youtube currently maintains one of the highest on the net with an average rate of over one hour. The new video initiative could greatly help shift facebooks numbers in that direction. Given Youtube’s recent struggles with ad providers and the pent up anger from within the Youtube creator community, a second content platform could be truly beneficial to both consumer and content providers.
What do you think? Will Facebook Watch do well?