Facebook wants to be so many different things to so many people. A place to share photos. A place to tell your family and friends what you’re up to. A place to sell things, to buy things, to form political groups, to watch cat videos, and so much more. And now it wants to be your go-to choice for the kind of content you might have previously watched on TV. Or at least on YouTube.
In a blog post late this afternoon–following a Business Insider scoop—Facebook announced Watch, its new platform for watching TV shows. “Shows are made up of episodes—live or recorded—and follow a theme or storyline,” Facebook wrote. “To help you keep up with the shows you follow, Watch has a Watchlist so you never miss out on the latest episodes.”
While it’s not clear if Watch could have the impact of a Netflix or Hulu, it’s clear that Facebook wants to be the place where people watch TV of all kinds. It even takes advantage of being on Facebook, such as with original shows like Returning the Favor, in which host Mike Rowe “finds people doing something extraordinary for their community, tells the world about it, and in turn does something extraordinary for them.” Rowe will find candidates on Facebook itself.
The service is also personalized so that users can find new shows that their friends or communities are watching, as well as trending shows, or shows that made people laugh. There will even be live shows, such as a weekly Major League Baseball game–and you can bet that many other top-tier media companies are going to want to try Watch out and see if it helps them build audiences.