If anyone had doubts about the importance Facebook is putting on video, the social media giant helped dispel them today. The company is testing a slew of new features, from picture-in-picture mode to a dedicated video feed similar to the platform's existing newsfeed. The experiments seem to suggest that Facebook is gunning for YouTube’s position as the default destination for discovering new video content.
The new features being tested come on the heels of Facebook's enhancements to its video capabilities, starting with a major upgrade last year. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has indicated that it’s one of the company's fastest growing content areas.
Your Favorite YouTube Features, Now on Facebook
Users will begin to see the new features rolled out over the next few months as the company continues to test and make change to them, said Will Cathcart, vice president of product management at Facebook, in a blog post yesterday.
“We know people enjoy these more immersive video experiences, but we’re also learning that people want to watch videos in different ways at different times,” Cathcart said. “We have been testing a number of new features that give people more flexibility when watching videos, whether you’re watching a video in News Feed on-the-go or sitting down to enjoy multiple videos back-to-back.”
The company recently began testing a “suggested videos” feature, similar to YouTube’s video recommendations, on its iPhone client. Although the company said it is still in the early days of testing the functionality, it’s already expanded the rollout to iPhone users globally and is now starting to test ads on it. Tests on the Web and Android phones will arrive in the coming months.
Another trick Facebook seems to be stealing from YouTube is enabling users to save videos to watch at later times through a “saved” bookmarking system.
Tools for Video Publishers
Not all the experimental new features are inspired by YouTube, though. Cathcart said the social media company is also testing a way for people to watch a video in a floating screen while multitasking on Facebook. Its new video section, meanwhile, will provide a dedicated area for users to watch, discover, and share videos with their friends. “We’ll be testing this with a small number of people now, so this isn’t something most people will see on Facebook right away,” Cathcart said.
The social media site has also been working on a number of video features geared toward publishers, according to Cathcart. YouTube has traditionally been the default platform for content creators to host their videos. Facebook is testing a new video-matching technology to provide a comprehensive video management system, similar to what YouTube offers video creators. The company is also working on additional updates to help publishers grow their businesses with video content on Facebook, Cathcart said.
The features follow several recent updates the company has made to the way it handles video. In August, it rolled out an update to allow public figures to share live video with fans over the Mention tool. In September, it added a 360-degree video feature to let users view videos from all possible angles.
Posted: 2015-10-16 @ 12:34am PT
Article is complete from the end user perspective only. A big part of being a content provider on You Tube is the ability to "Monetize" the content and actually make a little dough off your work. No mention if FB will be offering something similar. Article falls sadly short someone didn't ask all the questions.