Video is important for Facebook. Of late, the company has been coming up with all sorts of new schemes to make consumption as well as production of videos on its platform, grow. Along the same, it has announced that it will soon launch a series of brand new applications dedicated to Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TV.
Video is a rapidly growing niche. Amid increasing data penetration and lowering prices, people have hit upon video as the new popular mode of communication, And of course, it is way more descriptive than either text or images. With that in mind, Facebook has been making a case to grow the niche. The latest move that involves the company capitalizing upon smart TVs, forms a part of the same push,
Facebook’s VP of partnerships Dan Rose announced the move to connected TVs at CODE Media, today. He also said that the drive to make Facebook a platform that engaged video publishers began way back with the appearance of auto play video ads in the news feed.
Pushing video to TV could give Facebook a huge push with regards to content consumption. Sure, smart TVs aren’t everywhere, however they form part of a niche that is rapidly growing and by establishing a presence, Facebook could ensure that it had a foothold that allowed video consumption to grow alongside the growth of smart TVs.
The company already allows Apple TV or Chromecast users to play videos on their devices. This move will expand its presence to other devices. Another point to bear in mind is that Facebook’s attempt to gain a foothold on TV could well be accompanied by more professionally created content on its feed. After all, if it pushes specially created apps to your television sets, it is only reasonable to assume that it wont rely completely on crowdsourced videos to make you keep watching.
Instead, Facebook is likely to push a mixture of professionally created content and curated third party videos to your TV sets. Doing that however, could well blur the line between its self-professed identity as a social network and a media platform. The company has already started working in the direction and hired several prominent names from the content industry to work on content creation.
Meanwhile, Facebook’s push for TV will also pit it against YouTube. The two already battle for video consumption over the web and although YouTube has an edge at this point, Facebook has been making its presence felt as well. The equation could change with Facebook’s move to TV and production of original content, however, the platform will have have to set up robust monetization and anti-privacy tools in place before it can start attracting publishers in earnest.
Among related news, Facebook has made a few changes to how videos are displayed on its platform. Video audio will now match the audio setting of your devices — meaning that audio will play, and will play with the same volume as that of your device.
Next, vertical videos will no longer be cropped. Most importantly though, users will now be able to keep on scrolling their feed by pulling the video to a side, where it will keep on playing.
This last move is pretty interesting and appears to have drawn inspiration from YouTube, which offers something very similar on its mobile application.