Facebook revamps video services to compete with YouTube and Netflix

The social media giant is launching a new product, named "Watch" to offer scripted videos and move into the TV market.

Friday 11, August 2017 17:08 | Sam Leveridge

Facebook added a video tab last year in order to match growing demand for audiovisual content, but now it is set to take a daring next step. That step will see it move into the television market as it launches a new product specifically to offer television style shows.

Since then, the world's biggest social media platform has been dropping hints that they were considering moving into the market. Now they look set to launch their own high quality episodes and shows as well as user generated content.

In May, Reuters reported that Facebook had signed agreements with the likes of Buzzfeed, ATTN, Vox Media and Group Nine Media to create both news and entertainment shows of both a scripted and unscripted format.

As Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg explained in a Facebook post revealing Watch, the new product will allow users to "chat and connect with people during an episode, and join groups with people who like the same shows afterwards to build community" in an innovative move within the market.

Facebook will begin by launching the product in the US to selected users. The aim is to eventually roll out worldwide, with anybody able to create shows of their own and distribute them via the new service.

For now, it seems that Facebook will be the only content creators, with ATTN revealing their first two projects include a health show with Jessica Alba and a relationship advice program.