Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg can see the future. Back in 2014, he predicted that in five years, by 2019, Facebook would be ‘mostly video.’ We are nearly through that time frame and Facebook is serving more than 8 billion daily video views. But is that the video Zuckerberg was referring to? After quietly launching the Watch platform in August, Facebook has released the Creator app for video.
Launched in August, Watch is a dedicated segment for Facebook content. Facebook says that Watch is ‘a new platform for shows on Facebook’. Watch is made up of both live and recorded episodes which ‘follow a theme or storyline.’ Originally released to a small group of U.S. users, on mobile Watch has taken over the video tab at the bottom of the app.
Personalized to help you discover new shows, Watch will tell you what your friends are watching as well as what’s popular. Facebook will be looking for high-quality exclusive content to promote through Watch. Up first are shows including:
- Nas Daily – a daily show where the rapper Nas makes videos with his fans from around the world.
- Gabby Bernstein – Bernstein is a New York Times bestselling author, motivational speaker, and life coach who will answer questions in real time.
- Kitchen Little – a funny show from Tastemade about kids who watch a how-to recipe video and then tell professional chefs how to make what they just watched.
- Major League Baseball – The MLB is broadcasting one game a week on Facebook, allowing fans to watch live baseball while connecting with friends and other fans.
- NCAA Basketball – 47 college basketball games will air on Facebook this year. Facebook’s slate of college games is a mixture of Big Ten, Pac-12, and ACC Coastal Division.
This new tool will encourage more video creators to post original content by revamping their Mentions app. The new Facebook Creator app provides a range of new features designed to help creators maximize their video content. These new features include:
- Adding custom intros and outros to live videos.
- Creating a custom reaction. Creators can replace one of the six reaction emojis with an alternative graphic of their choice.
- A unified inbox. Creators can see comments from Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger all in one place. Streamlining the inbox could make holding conversations easier. And for Creators trying to moderate comments, combining Instagram and Facebook could reduce time spent deleting spam and troll comments.
- The ability to post content directly to Facebook Stories, as well as cross-posting from Facebook to Instagram. This simplicity and access to daily sharing features could encourage people to keep Facebook in the sharing loop.
- New insights provide creators with more data on fan response. These insights are available directly within the app rather than buried inside Facebook Pages.
- Graph frames let makers add a pretty border to their videos. This can give the videos a more immersive feel.
The new features have the potential to be a huge help to video creators in their efforts to create more professional, high-quality streaming content. And with the capacity to add intros and outros brands have a bigger incentive than ever to start streaming. Brands are able to add calls to action to their outros, potentially driving traffic and further building their communities.
Facebook Creators isn’t just an app. Facebook has also launched a new ‘Facebook for Creators’ website. This online hub is a place for resources, tips, lessons, and examples of how other creators are seeing success.
The best part about the new Facebook Creator app is that it’s broadening the capacity for users to try it out. While the original Mentions app was only opened to verified public figures and Pages, the new revamped Creators app is open to individual profile or Page.
This likely puts Facebook’s video ahead of Twitter’s Periscope for creative options. While the app doesn’t have all the same features and YouTube, they now seem to be on par with one another. At this time Pages that represent a business, not a person, do not have access to the app.
With Creator app, the potential is there to lure social media stars away from competing websites including YouTube, Patreon, and even Snapchat. But while the Creator app is a key step in Facebook’s video advance, one limitation is it doesn’t include monetization options. There’s no subscriptions, tipping, or even an option to inject revenue-sharing ad breaks into videos. The only way to monetize videos is to post sponsored content and label it with Facebook’s handshake feature.
Another area where the Creator app could improve is to make it more integrated with Groups. More and more social media stars and launching Facebook Groups around their content. Groups give their fans a chance to not only interact with the star creator, but with each other.
The lack of monetization options is likely to lower the number of creators willing to switch across. But with more than 2 billion users Facebook is impossible to ignore, and as their video focus expands the benefits to broadcasters will only grow.
If Facebook’s mission to make video the focal point of the community, the Facebook Creator app for video is a big step in facilitating two-way connections between creators and fans. Creators have the opportunity with this new app to create more high-quality content, drive traffic through outros, and build community.