Tech corner

What is Facebook Watch?


Facebook is no stranger to jumping on social media bandwagons, and now the site is set to try its hand at rivalling video streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube by introducing Facebook Watch to the world.

Though it hasn’t yet officially become available in the UK, here’s everything you need to know about Facebook's very own streaming service so that you’re prepared for it when it arrives.


What exactly is Facebook Watch?

The service originally launched to a selection of users in America back in August and was steadily rolled out to all US Facebook users over the following weeks.

Facebook Watch offers personalised recommendations for new shows to watch, as well as a series of categories of combined video content. Users will also be allowed to connect with friends and other viewers whilst watching and participate in dedicated Facebook groups for chosen shows.


Which shows are available on Facebook Watch?

When it was launched, the service offered more than 30 shows, focusing on topics ranging from blogging to NASA. Other shows available on the service include Bear Grylls: Face the Wild, Meet My Mom from Reese Witherspoon's own media company Hello Sunshine, and upcoming comedy Queen America starring Catherine Zeta Jones.

As well as original content, Facebook Watch has also picked up several existing shows for brand new seasons, plus it’s getting in on the remake game by adapting popular Norwegian teen drama Skam into an English language version.

Unlike its competitors, it will also stream live sports, meaning you can keep up with the latest football scores in real time whilst you’re out and about.


How do I use it?

Just like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and all other popular streaming services, Facebook Watch is set to be available on mobile, desktop, laptop and in Facebook's TV app. Whichever platform you choose to watch on, the handy Watchlist feature will be there to make sure you never miss out on the latest episodes of your favourite shows.

Though Facebook Watch will be free, the money the service makes will mostly come from the adverts you’ll have to sit through, giving it a disadvantage when it comes to competing with ad-free Netflix and the like.


When will we get Facebook Watch in the UK?

The new streaming service is currently only available in the US, and though there were originally rumours of a UK launch set to happen in summer 2018, us Brits are still waiting on the big reveal. Hopefully we’ll be allowed in on the fun soon – until then, we’ll have to stick to watching funny cat videos on YouTube for the time being.

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