Facebook wants to be more than just destination for viral videos of pets and memes.
The social media giant is preparing to launch daily news videos on its Watch tab as soon as this summer, Axios reports, citing sources close to the situation.
The move is likely part of Facebook’s effort to foster ‘meaningful engagement’ on the platform and highlight articles from credible organizations in the wake of its fake news problem.
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Facebook could be planning to launch a section of daily news videos in its Watch tab (pictured). The news videos could be hitting the platform as soon as this summer, Axios said
Facebook launched the Watch tab in August 2017, billing the platform as a place for users to watch professional-grade video content from outlets like millennial-focused news and entertainment creators Vox Media, BuzzFeed and ATTN.
Until now, the Watch tab had been curated to include more television-style content, allowing Facebook to compete for ad dollars with traditional TV channels.
The firm is said to be working with ‘legacy and digital-first news publishers’ about producing videos for the platform, according to Axios.
Facebook would test the daily video feature for at least a year to see how it’s received among users and publishers.
It has told publishers that videos need to be at least three minutes long and hopes to partner with about 10 news organizations.
The company is also working with news organizations to determine budget needs and figure out monetization opportunities for the platform, Axios said.
The hope is that news videos from credible organizations will help spur ‘meaningful engagement’ on Facebook.
This is an idea that Facebook has apparently had in the works for some time now.
‘Timely news video is the latest step in our strategy to make targeted investments in new types of programming on Facebook Watch,’ Campbell Brown, Facebook’s head of news partnerships, told Axios.
Facebook would test the daily news video platform for about a year before deciding if it will stay on the site. The company said it hopes the section will foster ‘meainingful engagement’
WHAT IS FACEBOOK WATCH?
Facebook Watch was launched with more than 20 new premium full-length shows, as well as a number of shorter five to ten minute episodes that are refreshed daily.
This two tier approach allows the company to provide more ‘clip’ oriented content similar to YouTube as well as challenging Netflix’s supremacy for ‘binge-watching’ on-demand series.
CollegeHumor co-founder Ricky Van Veen is leading the efforts in his role as global creative strategy chief with former MTV executive Mina Lefevre.
For its top-tier shows, Facebook is reported to be spending about six figures per episode.
This gives them full ownership, which allows the social network to release them to its global audience of 1.9 billion monthly active users.
‘As part of our broader effort to support quality news on Facebook, we plan to meet with a wide-range of potential partners to develop, learn and innovate on news programming tailored to succeed in a social environment’
‘Our early conversations have been encouraging, and we’re excited about the possibilities ahead,’ Brown said.
Since Watch was launched last year, it’s mostly been a place for users to share viral videos and other short content.
Rumors have begun circulating that Facebook is planning big changes for the Watch tab.
In February, it was reported that Facebook is planning to expand into user-generated content, so that individual users, brands and influencers can submit video to Watch.
If Facebook revamps its Watch tab, the platform would take on a similar structure to YouTube, by splitting ad revenue between Facebook and the creators.
Creators would upload content to Watch for free and then earn a cut of the revenue from advertisers, CNBC noted.
Facebook’s Watch tab could also take on a similar revenue structure to YouTube, by splitting revenue between the firm and individual creators, brands and influencers that upload content
Facebook has been trying to expand its long-form video content so that it can attract more advertisers and build a bigger library of video content.
The firm is also working hard to make sure that users don’t leave Facebook for other social media platforms.
For the first time ever, Facebook reported a drop off in users in the US and Canada – its most lucrative market – in the firm’s most recent quarterly results.
The slowing user growth was a result of Facebook’s decision to alter its News Feed algorithms.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (pictured) recently overhauled the site’s algorithms to prioritize posts from friends and family on users’ News Feeds instead of viral videos
For the first time ever, the social network has lost users in its most lucrative market, the US and Canada, dropping from 185 million last quarter to 184 million – indicating the potential for…