Facebook moves with new features to take on YouTube

16 Oct 2015


Facebook is gearing up to take on YouTube, which dominates the online video scene.

While YouTube continues to be the king of online video, the popular social network is moving in with aggressive plans in the online video space.

Facebook rolled out support for interactive 360 degree videos last month, and has recently started testing a new feature called ''Suggested Videos.'' As can be guessed, the feature is all about making it easier for users to discover and watch all sorts of video clips, with the ultimate goal, of keeping users glued to the site for as long as possible.

''While we're still in the early days of testing,'' Facebook said in a press release, ''we're pleased with initial results, which show that people who have suggested videos are discovering and watching more new videos.''

Facebook yesterday also unveiled how it was working on a feature that would allow users to watch video in a floating window, thereby allowing users to watch clips while simultaneously perusing through Facebook.

Currently, watching an embedded Facebook video requires users to keep their static to allow the video remains in view. YouTube, also has a similar feature on its mobile app.

The new video section will be populated with content that had been saved by users, recommended by their friends and posted by pages they follow.

According to commentators, while the new video section was still in an early testing phase, it was a major departure from Facebook's current approach of populating users' news feeds with videos they did not even know they had want to watch.

Publishers that had already adopted Facebook to distribute video reported spoke highly of video section, as also improvements Facebook was making to its ''suggested videos'' tab.

''It's smart for Facebook to provide video experiences for different audience groups and viewing expectations,'' said Greg Gittrich, chief content officer at Vocativ, a millennial news site, digiday.com reported. ''The bottom line is that it creates more opportunities for us to reach a large, diverse and engaged audience.''

Vocativ, one of the digital publishers, that had embraced video on Facebook logged 95.8 million views in August, on the platform, up from just 1.6 million views eight months before.

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