Facebook has launched its long-awaited push into television, introducing a new platform on Wednesday called Watch. In announcing the launch, Daniel Danker, director of product for Facebook, wrote: “Watching video on Facebook has the incredible power to connect people, spark conversation, and foster community. On Facebook, videos are discovered through friends and bring communities together.”
But some observers apparently need more convincing. In a report Wednesday on the launch, Recode asks: “Does anyone actually want to watch ‘shows’ on Facebook?”
The report adds: “Most videos on Facebook seem to work because they appear organically in people’s News Feeds, and people watch them — or scroll past them — just because they’re there. Does anyone actually want to head over to Facebook to kick back and watch things on a regular basis? For long periods at a time? And sit through ads? We’ll see.”
Recode also ponders whether Facebook’s open platform approach will ruin the experience.
“The premise behind ‘shows’ originally felt high-quality — Facebook would pay or partner with professional video creators to make stuff exclusively for Facebook,” Recode notes. “Opening the tab up to anyone could flood the system with mediocre stuff that nobody actually wants to see. Will that dilute the effort? Or might some of those actually become the platform’s breakout successes?”
Danker notes in his announcement: “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. We think a wide variety of Facebook shows can be successful.”
We enourage readers who are interested in learning more about the new Facebook initiative to click on the links above to read both the Facebook announcement and the Recode report.