Mark Zuckerberg once famously said that Facebook is a tech company, not a media company. He later implied that the social media giant was a media company, just not a “traditional” one. Now, it looks as if his firm is pushing into that traditional TV space with its own video app for set-top boxes.
Facebook has been focusing on its video offerings for a while. It was revealed back in June last year that the company was spending more than $50 million to attract high-profile celebrities and publishers to its Facebook Live platform. This was followed by December's news that the firm was talking to TV studios and other content producers about licensing scripted shows, sports coverage, and game shows.
The Wall Street Journal reports that work started on the new app last summer following years of discussions. Facebook wants it to be a place for longer, “high-quality” videos, which will include exclusive TV-style content and, possibly, user-generated material.
For Facebook, the app should present an opportunity to display the sort of advertisements you see on television, which are more lucrative than those it places on the News Feed. So, don’t be surprised to see multiple, unskippable commercial in some of the app's videos.
Zuckerberg’s behemoth has already said it will prioritize longer videos that are watched all the way through on people’s feeds. It’s also testing mid-roll ads that play in the middle of videos, as opposed to the end.
There’s no word yet on when the app might see a release. Precisely which streaming boxes it will appear on is also unknown, though Apple TV has been named as an obvious pick.