Facebook’s bid to reinvent TV is fast shaping up as the social media behemoth is reportedly on the verge of taking its video streaming service called “Watch” to India come 2017. Facebook launched Watch last August, and told the whole world that its content will be exclusively produced for the new platform by partners, who are expected to earn 55 percent of ad revenue while Facebook takes the remaining 45 percent.
The Ken reports that the social media giant will roll out the video streaming service in India as early as January and March 2018. Citing people familiar with the story, The Ken adds that creators hope that Watch would be able to solve a problem they are currently facing on YouTube—discoverability. Creators believe that Watch video tab will be a better place to showcase their content, which of course, is different from what is obtainable on YouTube where the system is based on algorithm.
Facebook is also looking at sourcing regional-language content in India too—and that in itself is a must if it truly wants Watch to be a big hit in that country. It’s a path some other video platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime have threaded in the past, and it’s vital that Facebook follow in the same footstep. Offering shows in several Indian languages will provide Watch with a soft landing, and help Facebook to penetrate the Indian market which has a reputation of being one of the biggest in the world.
Facebook began rolling out shows and programs on Watch on mobile, desktop and Facebook’s TV apps to a small set of people in the US a day after it was launched.
Watch has been personalized to help everyone discover the latest shows. Pioneering sections include “Most Talked About,” which highlights shows that spark conversation, “What’s Making People Laugh,” which includes shows where many people have used the “Haha” reaction, and “What Friends Are Watching,” which helps you connect with friends about shows they too are following.
At launch, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg said Watch can be a chance for people to share and discuss about various issues arising from watching programs on the platform:
“We believe it’s possible to rethink a lot of experiences through the lens of building community—including watching video. Watching a show doesn’t have to be passive. It can be a chance to share an experience and bring people together who care about the same things.”
Some of the shows that made their debut on Watch include:
- Daily episodes of Nas Daily where viewers will be able to watch videos made by Nas.
- Gabby Bernstein, a New York Times bestselling author, motivational speaker, and life coach, uses a combination of recorded and live episodes to connect with her fans and answer questions in real time.
- Tastemade’s Kitchen Little, a funny show about kids who watch a how-to video of a recipe, then instruct professional chefs on how to make it. Each episode features a new child, a new chef, and a new recipe.