Whilst some of us were out haemorrhaging money on our loved ones this Valentine’s, Facebook laid out its plan to woo its newest fancy: television.
Yes, Facebook has announced a standalone smart television app which will allow users to watch the social platform’s video content on the big(ish) screen for the very first time. This announcement comes in the same month that YouTube has made mobile live streaming available, suggesting that the video war between the two digital giants has just been taken up a notch.
Now this is just the latest in a series of moves by Facebook to elbow in on competitor’s turf. One such move is the hiring of MTV executive Mina Lefevre to help facilitate talks with talent agents, production companies and filmmakers, which could mean that the site isn’t far from a fully fledged launch into the digital originals fray. At the same time, the news feed algorithm has been updated to now favour longer videos whilst a 2016 scheme paying influencers to create the innately shorter Live content has reportedly stopped.
Consequently, this new television app can be viewed as simply the most recent development in what is a bold, concerted effort by Facebook to shake YouTube from its top spot and establish itself as the absolute home of digital video. Will it be a success? Or will it just be another medium on which to avoid Live videos of Jennifer from work’s big night out? Some say both.