Facebook has already become the most prominent entity that dominates the small screen in many people’s pockets. Now we’re approaching the start of Facebook TV. Just recently Facebook announced that it has added Apple TV or any other AirPlay-enabled device, as well as Chromecast, in its streaming network. Currently, it is available for iOS devices and web browsers, and Facebook has not said anything about a specific date for when this feature will roll out to Google-powered phones and tablets.
For this Facebook TV feature, Facebook has devised a new small button — a TV-like icon — which is located on the top-right corner of the Facebook window. After clicking on the button, the user will be provided with an option to select one of the supported devices — Apple TV or Chromecast. In short, the steps can be formulated as follows-
- Find a video you want to watch on your phone or desktop and press the TV symbol in the top right corner.
- Select the device you want the video to stream to.
- Enjoy the video right from your TV.
The good thing about this Facebook TV feature is it doesn’t get on the nerves of people by forcing people to do something or making other options inaccessible. Facebook knows very well that people like to get connected with others through their stories and feeds. That’s why while you’re watching a Facebook video on your TV, you can go back and scroll through News Feed on the device you’re streaming from, without disturbing the streaming video. Thus, you won’t be cut off from other stories while your video keeps playing on the TV.
Similarly, you will have the flexibility to go to News Feed or your Saved tab if you want to find more videos. And if you are streaming a Facebook Live video to your TV, you will be able to see real-time reactions and comments on the screen as well as you can join in the conversation yourself by reacting or commenting.
Why is Facebook looking to TV?
Of course, this is a way to create more channels through which people can watch videos. It’s a clear-cut effort to not confine videos within the outline of consumers’ computers, tablets, and smartphones. But this is just a medium through which Facebook has to take care of many other things, such as-
The Facebook TV support decision wasn’t a random one. Facebook had originally added AirPlay support to its iPad app in 2011. Thus, the idea was already there. But what must have triggered the sense of urgency is last month’s announcement that Twitter will come up with an app to live-stream video on your TV. Facebook is too prudent to be left behind by the competitor- it means a straight threat to the engagement, revenue and membership monarchy that Facebook is currently enjoying. So, to sit idly was out of the question!
B) Increasing Clout Of Videos:
Videos are a central part of user activity on Facebook. And by videos, I don’t mean just socially relevant, newsworthy, or live videos . I am also including pre-recorded videos shared by users. Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s president of the EMEA region, has clarified that the news feed would probably be all video in five years. Thus a Facebook TV feature will just add a more experiential value to the site, as there is a definite difference between watching videos on mobile screens and large TV screens.
Just like Facebook’s TV feature, YouTube’s iPhone app also allows you to set one video at a time to stream to an Apple TV. It’s clear that Facebook’s AirPlay and Chromecast support doesn’t appear to offer anything that other video services like Google’s YouTube, Netflix and Hulu don’t already provide. But it has one big differentiator: the news feed algorithm. Until now, the algorithm of Facebook has functioned only to tempt more people to watch videos in Facebook’s apps and on its site. But with this customized programming, which this TV feature will definitely offer, it will attract more people. After all, who wouldn’t like to watch longer, higher-quality videos and live broadcasts on the big, flat and shiny screens of TV? Naturally, it will ensure high engagement and high usage of Facebook videos. And that’s where video ads can ensure greater viewership. There is hardly a chance of less video ad revenue when viewership is all time high.
In A Nutshell-
Facebook’s TV integration is a sign of the growing importance of social media in modern life. And considering the amount of time that people spend on social media, it is going to become even more important. That’s why as a marketer, you need to think how to use it in future for your marketing and promotional purposes!
Note: We always keep a close watch on each and every happening in the social media world. In this blog also we have discussed what new Facebook is doing. Here, you will know everything about Facebook’s launch of Marketplace. To know which new targeting tools Snapchat has added in its arsenal, have a glance at this blog. Similarly, to get acquainted with the recent Instagram updates, this blog is a must-read.