Facebook Watch, a new platform for video shows, opens a new avenue for PR and marketing. The platform’s streaming video venue already offers hundreds of shows on a range of topics, including dramas, reality shows, and live streaming sports. According to Facebook, shows are made up of episodes – live or recorded – that follow a consistent theme or storyline. Commercial shows produced by brands or corporations could be an ongoing “how to” show, a drama with recurring characters, or a comedy with consistent themes. The platform may provide opportunity for innovative video approaches.
Accessed through a television-shaped icon, the new streaming video feature is part television station and part social network. It’s personalized to help users discover new shows and organized around what their friends and communities watch, with sections like “Most Talked About,” “What’s Making People Laugh,” and “What Friends Are Watching.” Users can comment on shows. Comments and reactions to a video are often as important as the video itself, states Daniel Danker, Facebook’s director of product, in the company’s announcement.
Television for Social Media
The feature is part of a general move by social media platforms to offer TV-like video services, such as Snapchat and Instagram with its IGTV. Facebook and other networks likely hope to challenge YouTube’s dominance as the leading long-form video hub.
“As more and more people enjoy this experience, we’ve learned that people like the serendipity of discovering videos in News Feed, but they also want a dedicated place they can go to watch videos,” states Danker.
The introduction of dedicated streaming video within Facebook offers marketing departments at B2C organizations a new way to boost engagement on the world’s largest platform, B2B marketers may be able to engage more specialized, targeted audiences.
Where to Inquire
Although Facebook calls the channel a platform for all, creators and publishers need to apply for an opportunity to be listed on the video shows pages. So far, Vox, Buzzfeed and ABC Network are among the select group of approved producers.
Watch is comprised of shows, a new type of video on Facebook. Shows are made up of episodes – live or recorded – that follow a consistent theme or storyline. Shows are a great format if you want to share a video series, like a weekly cooking show, a daily vlog, or a set of videos with recurring characters or themes.
Facebook recommends these types of programs:
Shows that engage fans. Nas Daily publishes a daily show where he makes videos together with his fans from around the world.
Live shows that connect directly with fans. Gabby Bernstein, a New York Times bestselling author and motivational speaker, combines recorded and live episodes to connect with fans and answer questions in real time.
Shows that follow a narrative arc or have a consistent theme. Tastemade’s Kitchen Little is a funny show about kids who watch a how-to video of a recipe, then instruct professional chefs on how to make it.
Live events. Major League Baseball streams a game a week. People can watch live baseball while connecting with friends and fellow fans.
Bottom Line: Brands and media outlets may want to look into streaming videos through Facebook Watch. The interactive, video service offers a new way to reach audiences and engage with customers. Marketing and PR professionals will likely assess and experiment on the new PR and marketing outlet.
William J. Comcowich founded and served as CEO of CyberAlert LLC, the predecessor of Glean.info. He is currently serving as Interim CEO and member of the Board of Directors. Glean.info provides customized media monitoring, media measurement and analytics solutions across all types of traditional and social media.