Facebook Introducing ‘Watch’, Netflix-inspired platform

Facebook has waded into the live-streaming and video-on-demand arenas.

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Facebook has ingratiated themselves into everyone’s daily lives, affecting the way we interact with each other, source news and more recently, buy and sell, through their Marketplace feature.

An example of the Facebook ‘Watch’ interface. Source: Facebook.

The monolithic tech company is now looking to conquer yet another frontier – that of live content. Taking their ‘Facebook Live’ platform one step further, Facebook announced last week the launch of their new service entitled ‘Watch’.

Initially launching to a limited group of people in the US, the next step in Facebook’s battle to establish themselves as the prevailing company in technology will see the website unveil a Netflix-like platform that streams both live and pre-recorded content to the audience.

The type of shows that are broadcast will feature heavily on engagement with fans and communities, as well as connecting directly with fans in some cases. Featuring direct participation from the audience has been trialled before, but will ultimately lend itself well to a live platform where all that’s required is an internet connection to participate.

Sports could also become a burgeoning part of the programming. Major League Baseball, who already livestreams a large number of their games on YouTube each week, will now be broadcasting a live game a week on Facebook.

Sports, including Major League Baseball, could become an important part of the platform.

This signals a growing ambition for the company, an increasing expansion into areas outside of its initial social media offering. With this bold move, Facebook has shown that the lines between who can create content for mass audiences has now well and truly blurred.

Already under attack from successful start-ups like Netflix, will the traditional TV industry survive this newest wave of attacks, or falter and collapse à la Blockbuster?

Whether ‘Watch’ connects with audiences or not remains to be seen, but with companies like Amazon seeing success with their offerings, the future looks bright for Facebook.