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Lean In with Facebook’s New “Watch” Video Streaming Tool

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Small TV icons are appearing across Facebook profiles in the United States, as Facebook introduces the new tab, “Watch” on its interface.

Watch will house original video content from its exclusive partnerships, while also creating a space for content creators to be discovered. The new video extension uses Facebook Live’s real-time engagement tool to allow users to react and comment while they are viewing content. The feature also personalizes each user’s discovery experience by categorizing video content with real-time conversations, like: “What Friends are Watching” and “What’s Making People Laugh”.

From “On the Go” to “Leaning In”

The Facebook Newsfeed has typically been the space to watch short-form content between scrolls of updates from friends and brands. The sound-off experience was perfect for on-the-go consumption and demanded advertisers to master the six-seconds or less video spots. However, with Facebook’s promise to deliver curated editorial content for Watch, users are expected to not only be spending more time within the section, but even returning for episode series they’re loving as well!

Watch encourages deliberate viewing with cross-device streaming options and opportunities to subscribe for updates on new episodes.  Users will be able to connect and comment during the stream of videos, evolving a sometimes passive ritual to highly engaging.

It’s no doubt that this Facebook update is challenging its familiar competitors Snapchat and YouTube, however, Watch may have the potential to also conquest the coveted traditional television audience with its exclusive content and engagement-driven experience.

What this Means for Advertisers

Publishers will have the option to insert ad spots within their content, however, details on how the ad spots will be purchased are still being finalized. With the majority of the content being exclusive to Facebook, we can expect brands to begin funding new series and up-and-coming content creators.

Can’t Wait to Watch

One of the most exciting Facebook Watch exclusive series is from the Instagram-famous account, Humans of New York. HONY began as a photography project capturing portraits of New Yorkers and accompanied with candid quotes about life. Since the blogs inception 7 years ago, it has garnered over 7.2 Million followers on Instagram and over 18 Million Page Likes on Facebook. The HONY 12-episode series is a culmination of over 1200 interviews and are currently streaming on Facebook only.

Watch Episode 1: Time


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