Facebook has a new home for original video content produced exclusively for it by partners, who will earn 55% of ad break revenue while Facebook keeps 45%. The “Watch” tab and original shows will start rolling out tomorrow on mobile, desktop, and Facebook’s TV apps to a small group of U.S. users.
Watch features personalized recommendations of live and recorded shows to watch, plus categories like “Most Talked About”, “What’s Making People Laugh”, and “Shows Your Friends Are Watching”. A Watchlist feature lets you subscribe to updates on new episodes of your favorite shows.
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.
Some of the original programming that will be available on Watch includes:
- Nas Daily – Famous rapper Nas makes videos with his biggest friends each day
- Gabby Bernstein – Motivational speaker and author answers fans’ life questions in live and recorded segments
- Tastemade’s Kitchen Little – This cooking show sees kids watch a how-to recipe video, then instruct a pro chef how to make the dish with comedic results
- Major League Baseball – The MLB will broadcast one game a week live on Facebook
- Mike Rowe – Rowe finds people who’ve done great things for their community and gives them a special experience in return.
Facebook says it plans to roll out access to Watch to more users and more content creators soon. It admits that “we’ve also funded some shows” as examples. Business Insider reported some leaked details about the redesign earlier today.
Facebook first launched its dedicated video tab in April 2016, but it only hosted the more generic News Feed videos people were already seeing from Pages and friends. Now Facebook is in the business of funding original content, initially through direct payments, though it seeks to switch entirely to a revenue share model in the future to make its original programming effort sustainable.