Facebook has been one of the main reasons for the whole “pivot to video” trend in online publishing, mostly because it successfully convinced content creators that people like video even though many do not, and now it is officially launching the next phase in its grand video scheme. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Facebook is finally ready to introduce “Watch,” the thrillingly named streaming video platform it began teasing in December and initially said would launch in June.
Watch will reportedly be focused around two kinds of videos: short-form projects from “digital producers” (a.k.a. existing websites and TV networks) and so-called “hero” projects that will be “television-quality” shows. Facebook is reportedly set to throw a ton of money at the “hero” shows so it can retain full ownership of them and control how viewers can see them. It doesn’t sound like the original shows will properly debut until August 28, but the Watch tab itself will begin cluttering up your Facebook page tomorrow.
As for what some of these shows will be, THR has an extensive list of content from stuff like A&E, Billboard, video game site Glixel, MLB, the NBA, Vulture, and Vox. Probably by design, the shows all sound sort of like the stuff you might see on Snapchat, sports highlights, “hilariously shareable” clips, and a breakdown of popular fan theories (which would also be a good premise for a podcast miniseries that you can hear on the Howl app).