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August 10, 2017updated 25 Jul 2022 5:44am

Facebook challenges YouTube and Netflix with video platform

The on-demand video space looks to be one that will become very crowded, as media consumption trends are shifting away from tradition TV networks.

By Tom Ball

Facebook has revealed a video platform set to host a range of shows, which will be directly accessible from the site via a new tab.

The Facebook friends of the user will be central to the experience when using this new video platform, as it is designed to suggest shows that are being watched by your network of friends.

Challenging YouTube’s dominance in this department, a comments system will also be available to discuss the content, bringing an interactive edge to the experience.

While a video service has been active within the Facebook offering for some time already, it is does not contain the kind of original content that is planned for the new platform. This move could also be a plan to accelerate ahead of other social media platforms that contest the crowded space.

A shift in the way media consumption is being carried out may have influenced this move, with people now moving to platforms such as Netflix to access their viewing preferences on demand.

Paolo Pescatore, VP Multiplay & Media, CCS Insight said: “This represents another significant step and underlines the company’s commitment in video. All of its rivals have strengthened their video offerings and are pushing the boundaries further by rolling out new features quite regularly. And with everyone piling into offering video and TV, it is becoming increasingly hard to differentiate. Fundamentally it’s all about the content, creating that next biggest blockbuster.”

“Facebook is very well placed. The company has a tonne of data on its users and will now learn more about consumers’ habits and this will give it confidence to invest in content areas that will prove the most appealing to customers,” said Pescatore.

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Others are set to converge on this new trend, with Disney announcing that it is planning to discontinue its deal with Netflix, instead planning to make its own mark on the space. The split is set to come in to effect in 2019, as it embarks on its own video streaming project.

The social media giant is innovating in other areas too, having recently purchased a startup called Ozlo, the maker of a virtual assistant app for smartphones. This move is geared toward enhancing the Facebook Messenger app by harnessing artificial intelligence (AI).

READ MORE: Facebook AI goes AWOL forcing researchers to pull programme

AI development at Facebook has been talked about extensively in recent weeks as researched set out to train two AIs to converse and negotiate. The project took a strange turn when researchers found that they had developed their own language that was more efficient than the human language they had been initially taught to use.

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