Facebook’s battle for television ad dollars is about to begin in earnest. The company said today that Watch, its redesigned video platform, will begin rolling out to a small percentage of users tomorrow. Watch features original programming financed by Facebook, alongside videos from other creators, in a tab that will become personalized to your interests over time. It will begin replacing the current video tab for users tomorrow in Facebook’s apps for Android, iOS, the web, and television.
If successful, Facebook’s push into video programming could represent a major new source of revenue for the company, which has begun running out of room to place new ads in in the News Feed. It could also pose a strategic threat to other big video purveyors, including YouTube, Amazon, and Netflix. First, though, Facebook needs to prove that its users will watch longer video — and accompanying mid-roll advertisements — inside its apps.
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