Facebook tapping into the TV market with an app for set-top boxes

3rd February 2017





Facebook is developing a video app for television set-top boxes as the social-networking giant aims to compete for TV advertising revenue.

Mark Zuckerberg once said that Facebook is a tech company, not a media company. Since then, he implied that the social media giant was a “non-traditional” media company. Today, it seems Facebook is moving into the traditional TV space with its own video app for set-top boxes, aimed at making it a “video-first” business.

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, as a consumer expect to see multiple, unavoidable commercials in some of the app's videos."

"Zuckerberg’s team 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 choice."



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