Facebook reportedly creating app to bring videos to the television
By Ken Yeung
Facebook is reportedly working on a way to bring its video content to your television. The social networking company could be developing an app that lets you stream premium content it curates through set-top boxes such as Apple TV.
The Wall Street Journal shared that the unnamed app is one of several projects Facebook is undertaking to shift itself from a mobile-first to a video-first entity. By extending itself beyond the confines of a mobile phone or computer and onto additional screen real estate, the thought is it would not only improve ad load, but increase opportunities for targeting and providing quality ads to people watching videos on their televisions.
Facebook declined to comment.
In July, Facebook chief financial officer Dave Wehner made a remark that concerned advertisers, suggesting that the total number of ads the company would be able to show each user would be “a relative non-factor” for predicting Facebook’s future revenue growth a year from then. The following quarter, it warned investors that its ad revenue growth would be slowing down in 2017, which is now.
So in order to find ways to expand its advertising, Facebook is looking at the television. As a vocal proponent of videos — look at the push towards Facebook Live, Instagram Stories and Live, Messenger Day, its push towards surfacing longer videos within News Feed, and more — why not combine it with ads? This is where pre- and post-roll ads could fit in.
Other social companies have launched apps for the set-top boxes, including YouTube and Twitter’s Periscope. However, YouTube, which continues to be a major player in the online video space, is the only one that appears to have any way to monetize what’s shown on the television. Facebook’s entry could certainly shake up the market and give YouTube a run for its money.
All eyes will be on Facebook tomorrow as the company declares its fourth quarter earnings results to see if its status as an advertising behemoth has changed.
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