Facebook sees the future of its platform in videos. The company wants users to watch its videos not only on smartphones and computers but also on smart TVs. The social networking giant announced Tuesday in a blog post that it would launch a series of apps for the Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV, Amazon Fire TV, and many other platforms. Mark Zuckerberg has been pushing more and more videos to users.
What you can do on Facebook’s TV apps
Allowing users to watch its videos on TV is part of the company’s strategy to get more content creators to share their videos on the platform. Dan Rose, VP of Partnerships at Facebook, said at the Code Media Conference that autoplay video ads, Facebook Live and Instagram videos were steps in the same direction. The launch of TV apps indicates how the company is planning to snag viewers’ attention and ad revenues from YouTube and the broadcast television.
The TV app will display videos shared by your friends and pages you follow, videos recommended by Facebook based on your interest, and top live videos from across the globe. If you find an interesting video on your Facebook smartphone app, you can save it to watch later on TV. The more users it can get to watch videos on their smart TVs, the more ad revenues and content creators it would attract.
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Enhancing video watching experience
The Menlo Park-based company is also making several changes to enhance the video viewing experience. After seeing Snapchat’s massive success with vertical videos, Facebook has decided not to crop vertical videos in the News Feed. It’s not the first time Mark Zuckerberg is copying (and sometimes stealing) Snapchat’s features. Second, the company will now allow users to minimize the video they are watching, and keep scrolling through the News Feed. YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu already offer this feature in their apps.
One change that will affect users in a big way is that the videos would now follow audio settings of the device. It means when you scroll past videos in your News Feed, the audio will play if your device’s sound is on. Until now, users had to tap on the video to hear the sound. Facebook said users “have come to expect sound” when the volume is turned on.
Facebook in talks to license music
Last year, the social networking giant hired Ricky Van Veen of CollegeHumor to help content creators create new types of content. To attract professional content creators in large numbers, Facebook will have to provide them monetization tools, ensure that they get paid for their content, and their copyrights are protected.
Facebook has also been in talks with big music labels to license music so that its users can easily add music to their uploaded videos without getting into trouble with rights-holders. The company has also hired Tamara Hrivnak to oversee its worldwide music efforts. Tamara previously served as the director of music partnerships at YouTube.