In an effort to foster community and further curb the spread of fake news on the platform, Facebook has announced that it would be utilising resources from established news networks in a slew of new programmes planned for its video-on-demand service, Facebook Watch.
Facebook Watch launched in the US in the second half of 2017, and while the service is still only available to US-based Facebook users, there are plans to expand it to the United Kingdom later this year.
Earlier this month, Facebook announced that it would introduce US news programmes hosted by CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Shepard Smith of Fox News and Jorge Ramos of Univision, with Buzzfeed News and Vox also partnering with the social media network in some other planned programmes.
With Facebook Watch, Facebook aims to promote community between creators and users by incorporating polls and other interactive features in order to engage its users, while also providing quality and trusted news content.
Speaking to Reuters, Facebook’s head of global news partnerships, Campbell Brown, said, “We tried to assemble a diverse set of partners who are already doing quality news who are also really adept at engaging the audience.”
Facebook deliberately chose news outlets that traditionally have audiences whose views vary widely, and hopes that a varied, albeit trustworthy stream of news would reduce the amount of fake news stories, hoaxes and sensationalism that has plagued the social media giant of late.
There are also plans for programmes produced by Advance Publications’ Alabama Media Group, and Walt Disney Company-owned ABC News, as well as by the websites ATTN: and Mic. More outlets are expected to be announced in the future.
Facebook Watch features a number of daily and more irregular programmes, and Facebook wants its users to start interacting with the news and coming back for it every day, instead of just passively consuming news.
Said Brown: “What Watch is about is intentional viewing. That means news is likely to be a good fit because people come back to news every day. They want to get a daily update.”
Facebook Watch is not available to users in South Africa yet, but take a look at what the new feature entails in the video below.