Facebook introduces new video service

Facebook introduces Watch, its redesigned tab for video programming

The feature will roll out to a limited number of users, and video creators, in the US first.

Other potential content could come from new media companies like Vox and BuzzFeed, who signed a deal with Facebook in May. The "Watch" tab and original shows will start rolling out to a small group of U.S. users tomorrow on mobile, desktop and Facebook's TV apps.

Facebook's push into becoming a destination for original TV shows begins on Thursday with the launch of its redesigned video tab, Business Insider has learned. The new feature, which will be available on mobile, desktop and Facebook's TV apps, is a continuation of the video push Facebook launched previous year.

Watch will be personalised so that users can discover new shows, based on what their friends are watching. "Now we want to make it even easier to catch up with shows you love".

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By hosting original programming, Facebook could boost ad revenue and give people a reason to frequently return to the News Feed for content they can't get anywhere else. There's also a Watchlist so you won't have to manually keep track of the shows you follow.

In a nutshell, Shows are videos grouped by episode or theme, in contrast to your run of the mill one-off cat videos.

Facebook's jump into TV has been anticipated for months, with the company willing to pay up to $3 million per episode for scripted and non-scripted content. Watch will appear on the same day as Snap reports its critical Q2 earnings - another twist in the ongoing battle between the media platforms. Also, the Shows section will be open to a limited group of creators, but access will be given to everyone soon. It admits that "we've also funded some shows" as examples.

Facebook said the shows would include videos of the Women's National Basketball Association, a parenting show from Time Inc and a safari show from National Geographic.

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