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Facebook pushes in on YouTube territory with SmartTV App

Facebook just announced a slew of video related updates yesterday, designed to increase their presence in the video space dominated by YouTube. The main reveal included the launch of a dedicated app for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TV, with more platforms to come. This app, much like YouTube’s SmartTV app, will allow for a leanback type experience. According to FB’s blog post, the app will allow users to watch videos shared by friends or Pages you follow, top live videos from around the world, and recommended videos based on your interests. You can also catch up on videos you’ve saved to watch later, as well as revisit videos you’ve watched, shared or uploaded.

Other features included:

  1. Videos in the news feed autoplaying with sound ON, unless your phone is on silent. FB claims this tweak has tested positively with users.
  2. Vertical videos playing in a larger, full screen format on mobile devices (much like Snapchat).
  3. Picture in Picture (PIP) mode so you can minimize video and keep scrolling through your news feed. On Android, you can also continue PIP when you aren’t in the app itself.

2_watch-and-scroll

Just like mobile drove Facebook’s last growth spurt, video is likely to drive the next phase of growth. Facebook hopes to get more users glued to their televisions and watching content (both user generated and original) on their platform, so it can tap into bigger TV Ad dollars.

Source: Facebook newsroom

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