Facebook Watch, we knew it was coming.
We have been working on client preparations for MONTHS but Facebook Watch still got the drop on us. We were not expecting to see it today but starting right now for some of you in the USA, Facebook TV is here and they call it “Watch” … because they know we will.
have you heard yet about Facebook Watch? Since this is BIG news we think if you are in Business you should all be saying “Oh Shit!” But I personally love the smell of opportunity. Facebook has been talking, maybe even borderline harping (along with almost every marketer on earth) about the importance of learning to use video. What most of you WILL be saying right now though is “what’s that?” While we didn’t know what the format was going to be or the programming, we did know that this was coming and was going to be Facebooks response or ‘reply’ if you will to Youtube. Youtube has had a corner on most of the worlds video consumption for a long time by Internet time frame standards. Facebook wants a piece of that.
Facebook has made this all perfectly clear as they ramp up their video usage. They have been training us to load native content on Facebook if we want any reach and penalizing links to outside video content on places like YouTube. This thing called Facebook Watch is the “why” for all that training. I think it drove Mark (Zuckerberg) crazy every time he saw a link urging us to leave Facebook to go to Youtube to watch a video.
To quote an article on digiday.com: “Now, Facebook wants to be in the same place, where at the end of a long day, you might sit down to watch something on Apple TV, and Facebook is now an option too, alongside FX, YouTube, and others,” – Eric Korsh (Mashable Studios)
As we said earlier, their new TV esque platform aptly named by Facebook “Watch” starts to roll out in the USA. While still in Beta with plenty of testing and tuning to go yet it will be a while before we see it roll out internationally. Initially most of the content is funded by Facebook but as it develops more publishers and creators will be able to add content if they have what will be called an “Official Show Page”. By then there will be less content funding by Facebook.
It is important to note that (for the current time at least) this platform will be only for “Home Shows.” That said there will be a lot of interesting new content coming. What you will find there will be a lot of new original content from a group of more than 30 video and content partners as well as live sports broadcasts, including a weekly Friday Night live MLB Game. They have even created their own broadcasting team! Facebook Watch wants us to start watching their video content like we watch YouTube content.
A “watch list tab” will allow you to track new content that you want to follow as it arrives. They will of course make this all easier for us to do with a users watchlist tab which will be on the right hand row next to the Facebook news feed. They hope to make it exciting enough to become your “Go To” video viewing platform. Facebook video is growing at a rate of about 4X faster than even YouTube at the moment, which they intend to leverage to entice us to be more dedicated viewers in order to directly compete with YouTube. There are plans to quickly reach a variety of shows numbering in the hundreds and up to thousands later on.
Now how does this mean anything to you as a business owner? It probably does not mean much yet, (I can hear the sighs of relief) but I stress the yet part. Most small businesses have not even figured out yet how to use video effectively for their businesses let alone for a dedicated video viewing platform like Watch. Those that have will be watching this news very keenly. To begin with Facebook Watch will run “Mid-roll ads” with a limited set of partners who will be allowed to run branded content.
We bet the bank that this will not stay this way long. As the easy availability to advertising income becomes too tempting this will open up to those who either A) have the budget, or B) have the quality of video acceptable for the platform. This will soon separate the casual video creator and marketer from the professional ones, and the use of video …will separate business too. How is your video marketing coming along?