Watch is Facebook’s official platform for shows on Facebook, and it will be available on mobile, desktop, and in Facebook’s TV apps. According to Facebook, its shows are “made up of episodes — live or recorded — and follow a theme or storyline.”
Watch includes a Watchlist so Facebook users can keep up with their favorite shows, and it includes personalization to people find new shows to watch. Show discovery categories will include things like “Most Talked About,” “What’s Making People Laugh,” and “What Friends Are Watching.”
Along with serving as a platform for end users to watch shows, Watch is also a platform that’s meant to help creators and publishers find an audience for their content, build a community, and earn money. In today’s announcement, Facebook outlines what kinds of shows it thinks can be successful:
– Shows that engage fans and community. Nas Daily publishes a daily show where he makes videos together with his fans from around the world. The Watchlist makes it easy for fans to catch every day’s new episode.
– Live shows that connect directly with fans. Gabby Bernstein, a New York Times bestselling author, motivational speaker, and life coach, uses a combination of recorded and live episodes to connect with her fans and answer questions in real time.
– Shows that follow a narrative arc or have a consistent theme. Tastemade’s Kitchen Little is a funny show about kids who watch a how-to video of a recipe, then instruct professional chefs on how to make it. Each episode features a new child, a new chef, and a new recipe. Unsurprisingly, the food doesn’t always turn out as expected.
– Live events that bring communities together. Major League Baseball is broadcasting a game a week on Facebook, enabling people to watch live baseball while connecting with friends and fellow fans on the platform.
Facebook expects Watch to become “home to a wide range of shows” in all categories, from reality to comedy to live sports. Facebook has also already funded some shows, such as “Returning the Favor,” a show that stars Mike Rowe finding people who do extraordinary things for their community.
Facebook says Watch will be available to a limited group of people in the United States on mobile, desktop, and its TV apps. The company is aiming to make it available to additional U.S. viewers “in the coming weeks.”