As expected, Facebook is slowly but surely creating a video platform that can compete directly with YouTube. The social networking giant is testing a feed exclusively for video content, Facebook announced Tuesday. Select users will see the “Messenger” button in Facebook’s iPhone app replaced by “Videos.” On desktop, the video tab will be listed on the left side of the news feed, under “Favorites.” For users who want to browse other content while watching a video, Facebook is also testing a floating screen that moves around as they multitask–yet another feature borrowed from YouTube.
Facebook has aggressively ramped up its video offerings over the past year, debuting a Periscope-style live streaming platform for public figures, 360-degree videos in the news feed, post-play recommended videos in the vein of Netflix, and a slew of other incremental changes. In April, the company boasted more than 4 billion video views per day, a number that has surely grown since.
What Facebook is doing, of course, is inching its way closer to YouTube’s user interface. Even with its impressive video metrics, Facebook likely needs to provide users with an experience similar to that of YouTube, whereby they can search for videos they want to watch rather than being limited by the whims of the Facebook algorithm.
A suggested videos feature, which shows users related videos when they click on a video in their news feed, has already been introduced to most iPhone users, and is now making its way to desktop and Android devices.