Facebook launches Watch; a new home for original video content

Facebook has launched Watch; a new home for original video content wherein the social media company prepares to flight its own programming.

Where Google has YouTube, Facebook now has Watch.
Today Facebook launched its new home for original video content, wherein the social media company intends to expand its video footprint beyond its emerging efforts with live video.
Watch has launched to a small group of users in US, where the social media company aims to trial its early efforts with original content. The firm has disclosed that its media partners will earn some 55% of ad break revenue, while Facebook will retain a sizeable 45%.
Read: Facebook begins highlighting local political posts in new tests
Facebook further offered that while it has funded the creation of some early shows, the company intends to create a platform wherein third-party creators can create and maintain their own programs.
According to TechCrunch, some of the first shows to premiere at launch will be:

  • Tastemade’s Kitchen Little – This cooking show sees kids watch a how-to recipe video, then instruct a pro chef how to make the dish with comedic results
  • Major League Baseball – The MLB will broadcast one game a week live on Facebook
  • Major League Baseball “12:25 Live” –  A comedic look at baseball with help from the fans
  • Mike Rowe – Rowe finds people who’ve done great things for their community and gives them a special experience in return
  • Nas Daily – Vlogger Nas (Correction: Not the rapper) makes videos with his biggest friends each day
  • Gabby Bernstein – Motivational speaker and author answers fans’ life questions in live and recorded segments
  • A&E’s “Bae or Bail:” – Reality TV game show where couples face their fears and see who runs
  • All Def Digital’s “Inside the Office” – A look inside the office life at Russel Simmons’ hip-hop media empire
  • Billboard’s “How it Went Down” – A documentary series of musicians sharing crazy stories
  • David Lopez’s “My Social Media Life”  – A reality show about the social media star’s life
  • Golden State Warriors’ “Championship Rewind”  – A behind-the-scenes look at the Bay Area’s NBA championship 2016-2017 season
  • Univision Deportes’ “Liga MX” – Live coverage of LigaMX soccer matches
  • National Geographic’s “We’re Wired that Way:” – Mini-documentaries about weird quirks of humanity like songs you can’t get out of your head
  • National Geographic’s “Safari Live” – Watch live safaris led by National Geographic’s guides
  • NASA’s “Science @ NASA” – Explore science topics in quick four to five-minute episodes
  • NBA’s “WNBA All-Access” – A behind the scenes show with women’s basketball stars
  • The Dodo’s “Comeback Kids: Animal Edition” features determined animals facing difficult conditions or challenges meet people who refuse to give up on them.
  • Tommy Mac – A master woodworker gives live tutorials on how to make furniture

Unsurprisingly, Watch will feature a strong emphasis on social engagement; shows on the platform will have their own Facebook Pages, and will be able to create special Show groups where fans can group and engage with content creators.

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg presided over the launch of Watch, offering that “We believe it’s possible to rethink a lot of experiences through the lens of building community — including watching video. Watching a show doesn’t have to be passive . . . You’ll be able to chat and connect with people during an episode, and join groups with people who like the same shows afterwards to build community.”
Watch now forms Facebook’s leading effort in tackling the likes of YouTube Red – a premium subscription service that sits atop the free video platform with ad-free offerings and exclusive original programming. Facebook’s intent, however, seems to be more focussed on the development of a social video platform rather than a content delivery service.
Read: Facebook grows to reach a staggering 2 billion monthly active users
What are your thoughts? Do you plan to use Facebook Watch when the service rolls out globally? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!
Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA