- Facebook announced at VidCon last Friday that it's working on a mobile app that lets its star video producers create live and on-demand streams for the social network, Marketing Land reported. The app will only be available to verified accounts, similar to how the Facebook Mentions app is limited to actors, athletes, journalists and other public figures.
- The video app will have tools to create special intros and outros for clips, custom frames and stickers and a Community tab for celebrities to interact with their followers on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. Facebook announced the app last week at the annual digital video conference in Anaheim, California, sponsored by Google’s streaming service YouTube.
- Daniel Danker, a Facebook product management director, said existing Mentions users will be automatically upgraded to the mobile video app when it’s available. Danker demonstrated how the app will have an Insights tab for creators to track how their videos are performing, according to Engadget.
The social network's new video creation app is basically a revamped version of it's existing Mentions app, and will be one way to help social media celebrities reach a potentially massive audience while luring content creators away from YouTube and other platforms. YouTube also has been catering to video producers for years, having released its YouTube Creator Studio app in 2014. Last week, YouTube said it will soon have messaging and sharing features in its mobile app, another way to confront the threat from Facebook. Also, YouTube is opening up live streaming to more creators as its YouTube Live service competes with Facebook Live.
The focus on making it easier for creators to produce, distribute and track video content online comes at a time when marketers are very interested in influencer marketing yet are wary of having their ads appear next to unsavory content.
Facebook is continually seeking new ways to engage audiences, which is crucial for the social network as it reaches possible market saturation. While Facebook does see seasonal dips in usage during the summer, the total number of active accounts fell by 50 million, or 2.5%, from a high point of 1.968 billion a few months ago, The Next Web reported, citing Facebook data reported to advertisers. The company is trying to beat back threats from Snapchat by mimicking its features while facing off against YouTube with a greater emphasis on video programming. The video focus isn't new. Facebook has been pushing into video for years and working to persuade advertisers to shift some of their TV budget to the social network instead. Last year, Facebook told Recode that users watch 100 million hours of video a day on the platform, and 500 million people watch a Facebook video every day.
In addition, Facebook is getting into the crowded market for original TV programming following similar efforts by Netflix, Amazon, Snapchat and YouTube. As people abandon their cable TV service in favor of a less expensive broadband connection, social media companies see an opening to reach a bigger audience. Facebook is in talks with Hollywood studios about producing scripted, TV-quality shows, with an aim of launching original programming by late summer, The Wall Street Journal reported. The social networking giant indicated that it would commit as much as $3 million to produce each episode of a series, the newspaper reported, citing people familiar with the matter. In another move to distinguish itself from Netflix and Amazon, Facebook is telling Hollywood it will share viewership data with them.