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New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 24th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

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Facebook goes all "YouTubey"

30 August 2018

Facebook is launching a streaming video service which is very similar to YouTube.

Well actually this functionality has already been available to US residents for over a year but it is now being rolled out to the rest of the world.

As with YouTube's service, the Facebook version will encourage creators to produce regular videos which can be monetised for a share of the ad revenues generated. There will also be "professional" content available including some content created specifically for Facebook.

I guess the company is hoping that with millions of YouTube accounts being demonetised recently and a whole bunch of other YT creators finding it difficult to comprehend and cope with Google's constant changes and narrow-minded attitude to what is acceptable and what's not -- those folk will no flock to Facebook.

As a full-time YouTube content creator, I won't be switching to Facebook any time soon.

I am not a regular Facebook user but I have noticed that they are as "anal" as YouTube when it comes to defining represents "acceptable" content. Here is the perfect example of what I mean.

It is bad enough dealing with one huge US corporation and their insane ways, let alone trying to cope with two of the buggers!

Called "Facebook Watch", the announcement of its release in countries outside the USA had to be brought forward due to "leaks".

The BBC has a brief piece on the service.

If you're wondering why you may never have heard of this service, despite it being "a thing" for over a year, you are not alone. The BBC story claims that in a survey of 1,632 adult Facebook users, half those asked said they also had never even heard of it.

That's off to a good start then!

Clearly Facebook is trying to go head to head with other streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, Instagram, etc... whether they will succeed is the big unknown right now. Given that a huge swathe of the "watchers" out there (at least those watching user-generated content) are young people, Facebook's "fall from favour" with the young could hurt it badly in this area.

However, there's no such thing as too much competition, so I will sit quietly on the sideline and watch as things happen, as I suspect many others will also do.

What do readers think? Will you be flocking to Facebook Watch?

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