Facebook is launching a new video platform as it looks to give users another reason not to leave the social network.
Called Watch, the new service is a dedicated place to watch videos and builds on the Video tab the company launched last year.
Facebook said Watch comprises “shows” – series of videos that follow a consistent theme or storyline.
Initially, Watch will be available to a limited group of publishers and creators in the US who are making shows.
Facebook said it was also funding some shows that “are examples of community-oriented and episodic video series”.
Nick Grudin, Facebook’s VP Media Partnerships, said in a blog post: “Our goal is for Watch to be a platform for all creators and publishers to find an audience, build a community of passionate fans, and earn money for their work.”
Creators will be able to monetise their shows through ad breaks or create sponsored shows using Facebook’s branded content tag.
Watch will be available via mobile, desktop and laptop, and Facebook’s TV apps.
The platform is personalised to users via the likes of “Most Talked About” and “What Friends Are Watching” sections.
Users can comment and connect with friends and other viewers while watching shows.
CCS Insight analyst Paolo Pescatore said: “[Facebook] has a tonne of data on its users and will now learn more about consumers' habits and this will give it confidence to invest in content areas that will prove the most appealing to customers.”
But he warned: “With everyone piling into offering video and TV, it is becoming increasingly hard to differentiate.”