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Facebook introduces Watch video platform

For the past several months, we’ve been reporting on the wave of musical hires at Facebook. The social network has mobilized an in-house team, including licensing and business development professionals. As Facebook hired its music team, the implication was that their role would be in support of a video project. Now, we might be seeing where those experts will be focusing their efforts.

Facebook introduced a platform called Watch that will house video content. The shows include live events, such as one Major League Baseball game a week, and programs focused on community engagement, such as Nas Daily with its interactions between rapper Nas and his fans. Although some shows for Watch will be funded by Facebook, the company is also looking for its members to make their own bootstrapped projects that could be distributed via Watch and possibly get paid for their creations.

In reading Facebook’s blog post about how to get involved with Watch, it mostly sounds like it wants to recreate its own YouTube. Just as successful YouTubers have turned their scrappy videos into careers with big production budgets, the dream laid out seems to be for regular folks to pitch their ideas to the platform and see if they take off. Whether it could actually make inroads with the people who are already attached to YouTube is another question.

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Anna Washenko

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