Facebook Inc. is pushing into the market for original streaming video series, announcing a platform through which TV-style shows can be uploaded and viewed.
The social media giant announced Wednesday that its new platform, Watch, will be available on mobile, desktop and laptop apps to a limited group of people in the U.S. before expanding to all users.
Facebook said each series on Watch would be made up of episodes — live or recorded — that follow a storyline or theme. The platform will allow users to comment, react and connect with other users while watching a show and to subscribe to series so new episodes appear in a personalized “Watchlist.”
Some shows “will be made by professional creators, and others from regular people in our community,” Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a post on the social network.
Facebook is funding a handful of series to kick off the platform, but eventually Watch is meant to fill up with series that aren’t commissioned by the Menlo Park, Calif., company.
Reuters reported in May that Facebook had signed deals with Vox Media, Buzzfeed, ATTN, Group Nine Media and others to produce shows. Other shows include the Golden State Warriors’ “Championship Rewind,” National Geographic’s “Safari Live” and PopSugar’s “Pretty Unfiltered.”
ATTN announced it will put two new original series on Facebook Watch: “Health Hacks” starring Jessica Alba, a show about healthful eating habits; and “We Need to Talk” with Nev Schulman and Laura Perlongo, a relationship advice series.
Facebook said creators and publishers can earn money from their Watch series. That could happen through ad breaks or by getting sponsorship from a brand.
The videos are required to comply with Facebook’s Community Standards, a set of rules that state what can be reported as inappropriate.
Facebook did not say when Watch will become widely available.