How Facebook Watch Will Change the Way You Watch Video

How many times have you been lured into watching a funny video in your news feed or searched for a television or video series after you watched a new clip your friend shared? Let’s face it, video is captivating. And Facebook is about to make it even more so. Recently, Facebook launched Watch, a new video platform that combines elements of YouTube and LIVE with traditional television.

Show Time (New Territory)

Facebook Watch videos feature a wide range of content, from original scripted and reality shows to sports and everything inbetween. Watch shows aim to be different than the regular Facebook videos or the Facebook LIVE broadcasts you're used to seeing in your News Feed because they are created as a series of episodes.

Facebook Watch shows are created as a series of episodes.

 

Facebook defines a show as a group of videos that have a shared narrative or theme (characters or concepts that are common across videos). That Humans of New York page you regularly look to for inspiration? It’s now a Facebook Watch show. Shows are also episodic, which means as a viewer, you can expect a regular cadence of connected videos. Episodes of a show can be short, say 90 seconds, or long, up to 30 minutes or more. They are also self-contained, meaning you can watch the entire episode as a stand-alone in one viewing. Check out this list of shows to watch from Quartz.

How Watch Will Work

Watching thematic, episodic video content will be brand new territory for most Facebook users. Think about it. You can explore popular videos right from the Watch tab—that fancy new television-shaped button that appears on your desktop home page under the News Feed and Messenger buttons or on mobile at the bottom of the navigation bar—and get notifications inside Facebook when a new show or episode is available.

New and Featured episodes appear at the top of each show’s page as well as at the top of a recommended, personalized Watch List. You can also browse a range of sections like “Most Talked About”, “What Friends are Watching”, and “What's Making People Laugh” to find content that might interest you. Each of these areas can feature different video formats—standard recorded, live, and 360—and content types across a range of topics. It’ll be your video library of recommendations from YouTube and Netflix all rolled into one.

A New Take on Social Viewing

Think about how you socially interact with your favorite show’s community now, watching a broadcast on your television or app and tweeting about it or posting to group page using a second device. With Watch, you can actually view and comment on the show from within Facebook—with other people who are watching at the same time.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that being “able to chat and connect with people during an episode...can be a chance to share an experience and bring people together who care about the same things.”

According to data from eMarketer, Americans already spend more than 73 minutes a day watching digital video, which is a 7 percent increase over last year. Making it easier to do and share is a game changer.

If you’re like me, you already spend at least half of the five hours a day you’re projected to use your mobile device scrolling through Facebook, and with Watch, I only expect that to go up. At this rate, it might be okay if I can’t remember my YouTube login—because I doesn’t appear I’ll be needing it much longer. And that could change the way advertisers Watch video as well.

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Sam is a social and digital media consultant to Spredfast prospects and customers with 12 years of experience in media, sports and entertainment. A Tennessee girl, you can find her on any given night in the fall and winter enthralled in a sporting event with her second screen in her hand and her dog in her lap.