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Facebook TV

Facebook plans television app

Facebook TV

Facebook plans television app

Reports suggest that social networking giant Facebook is planning to launch a video-focused app for users to engage with on their televisions.

The site is working on an app for devices like Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV that is completely different to its current offerings on Roku, which is a variation of its mobile app. The aim of the project is to provide users with a dedicated service that is exclusively for delivering video.

Facebook is also looking into the possibility of licensing its own original video content in a similar way to how the likes of Amazon and Netflix pick up exclusive rights to certain shows to be distributed on their own platforms.

Should Facebook get the go ahead with that, this could prove to be one of the biggest draws of its dedicated televisual app as it could help it to bring in a larger audience – namely, those who may not necessarily have bought into the app if all that was available on it was user uploaded content that is already accessible through other versions of the company’s app.

Many will believe that this premium content would mean more revenue generated by ads, but a report from the Wall Street Journal* has quashed that, stating that this does not seem to be a goal for Facebook in terms of this particular endeavour.

The company has been focusing a lot of its attention on video recently. It announced last month that it plans to add adverts to the middle of longer videos** and has spent a lot of time on Facebook Live for users to stream live videos on the platform.

Although there are ways to access Facebook through the television already, there has never been a Facebook app that is dedicated to television and connections with set-top boxes.

According to the company, users spend an average of 50 minutes a day using its products, including Facebook-owned services such as WhatsApp and Instagram regardless of what type of content they choose to consume. With this major video and television-centric push, these statistics could be set to soar.

Should Facebook be successful in accomplishing this goal, it would give the company the image of media firm to an even greater extent than it already does. With the likes of YouTube already way ahead in terms of being an alternative to traditional televisual resources, it would make sense for Facebook to start looking at its own efforts in this sector and it would appear that an app for set-top boxes like Android TV is the best plan at present.

Alan Littler

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