Facebook takes on YouTube and TV with revamped Watch hub

Watch will allow users to discover videos from outside of their feed, create watchlists and present an easier way to follow shows created by artists, brands and publishers.
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Facebook has juiced up its video offering with the creation of a new TV-like hub in a bid to go head-to-head with the likes of YouTube.

The new feature, dubbed Watch, will allow users to discover videos from outside of their feed, create watchlists and present an easier way to follow shows created by artists, brands and publishers.

The social media platform has already funded a nuber of original ‘community-oriented’ shows to help inspire creators and seed the ecosystem. Partners who produce original video content exclusively for Facebook will earn 55 per cent of revenue generated by ad breaks inserted into the content.

Watch replaces the Videos tab within the Facebook mobile app, which launched last year. Watch will make it easier to discover trending content, or videos friends are watching, and enables users to save specific shows into a watchlist that will send notifications when new episodes are added.

“Watch is a platform for all creators and publishers to find an audience, build a community of passionate fans, and earn money for their work,” said director of product, Daniel Danker.

As well as highlighting existing content, Facebook is to commission new shows, including a series by US TV host Mike Rowe called Returning the Favour.

Facebook’s focus on community ties in to its revamped 2017 mission to ‘give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.’

CEO Mark Zuckerberg, said: “Watching a show doesn’t have to passive. It can be a chance to share an experience and bring people together who care about the same things.”

Watch launches to select users in the US this week before rolling out to the platform’s two billion users.

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