Yes, you heard right! Facebook – the world’s largest social network has announced plans to release a standalone TV app soon which will provide a more convenient way for users of the social network to view videos on a large screen.
The new TV app will let Facebook users watch videos from their friends and their “liked” pages on TV, as well as watching the top live videos. Facebook also said that it will recommend videos based on ones you’ve already watched.
On Tuesday, the social giant announced that the forthcoming video apps for TV will soon roll out to app stores for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TVs. More platforms are in the works.
The company’s VP of Partnerships, Dan Rose, at a media conference on Tuesday, said Facebook intends for its TV app to be a compliment to watching videos on mobile phones and not a Netflix killer. He said;
“A lot of people when they’re watching video in News Feed during the day will save it for later, because they don’t have time to watch.
“Now it’s easy to watch on your TV if you want to do that. We want people to be able to consume content wherever they are – whether it’s on their phone, whether it’s on their computer — and TV is just another screen for that.
“But we’re a mobile-first company, so the products we build will always be oriented around the experience you have on a mobile device when you’re watching a video.”
Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, said; “I see video as a megatrend on the same order as mobile. That’s why we’re going to keep putting video first across our family of apps and making it easier for people to capture and share video in new ways.”
A blog post from product manager Dana Sittler and engineering manager Alex Li reads; “Last year we rolled out the ability for you to stream videos from Facebook to your TV, and today’s announcement expands this capability.”
This new move by Facebook is a significant part of its video push aimed at gobbling even bigger chunks out of television advertising budgets. The company believes that, if it can get people to watch more videos, it can further tap into the $70 billion brand advertising budgets that are normally reserved for TV shows.
Facebook has also announced a few more videos updates it is currently working on alongside the TV app;
- Videos will play with the sound on by default in the News Feed, as long as your phone’s sound is on; If your phone is on silent, videos will still be muted until you tap into them. This change comes after Facebook tested videos with the sound on by default in recent months and received “positive feedback.”
- Vertical videos will automatically expand to fill the full screen, like they do on Snapchat; This is change is likely meant to encourage people to shoot and upload videos from their phones.
- Videos can keep playing in a little thumbnail at the bottom of your screen while you browse the News Feed; Facebook has already tested this feature with a subset of its users, but now it’s rolling out to everyone.
All of these updates enforce Facebook’s increased effort to be a destination for people to watch longer and more premium videos. Aside from letting content creators show mid-roll ads in their videos, Facebook is working on funding its own scripted video shows.