Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Facebook may be coming to a TV set-top box near you

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If you like to watch videos on Facebook with your phone or tablet, you may be soon get that same experience on a bigger screen. A new report claims that Facebook is working on a video-themed app specifically for TV set-top boxes, along with plans to license long-form TV content.




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The report comes from The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources. It states that this new app is part of Facebook’s overall plan to move to a “video-first” business. The company has already been pushing its Facebook Live video streaming features for some time. An app specifically for TV set top boxes like the Android TV-based NVIDIA Shield could also generate more ad revenues for the company compared to ads displayed on its standard News Feed.


The story says that in addition to video content created by its many users, Facebook may also try to license out longer form TV content from media companies. That could also include scripted shows and sports events that would be exclusive to the Facebook app.


All of this sounds like Facebook wants to compete head-to-head with the current leader in the online video space: Google’s YouTube. In fact, the company is reportedly experimenting with adding brief video ads inside its live videos. Unlike YouTube’s ads, which normally appear just before the main clip begins rolling, Facebook’s video ads would start about 20 seconds after the main clip begins, and would last about 15 seconds. The story claims Facebook plans to run these ads as part of all of its videos eventually, but there’s no word on if the company also plans to offer an option to turn the ads off for an extra fee, as Google does with its YouTube Red service.


How do you feel about the prospect of watching Facebook Live videos on your big-screen living room TV, with ads? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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