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Facebook one step closer in quest for original content

TV remote, Iain Watson flickr

Facebook has been dropping heavy hints that they intend to prioritise original content in the near future, and have had no shame in picking up TV executives on their way. MTV executive Mina Lefevre announced Wednesday that she would be joining Facebook as Head of Development, teaming up with Ricky Van Veen (of former CollegeHumour fame).

This isn’t the first sign that the platform will be pushing for original video.

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On 26 January, Facebook announced that they would be placing a greater emphasis on longer videos in the News Feed. The company included “percentage completion” to their algorithm — determining a video’s pull by how much of it viewers have watched. They added that longer videos took more commitment from users and were to be weighted as such.

They have also recently paid media outlets and celebrities to broadcast live video. Recode reported last year that outlets like Buzzfeed and The New York Times were being provided financial incentives to produce live content.

Facebook is making a greater play for video, with original content expected to be a top priority for the network

On top of this, a report by the Wall Street Journal recently noted that Facebook was working on a video app for set-top boxes like the Apple TV.

“Our goal is to kickstart an ecosystem of partner content for the [recently added video] tab, so we’re exploring funding some seed video content, including original and licensed scripted, unscripted, and sports content, that takes advantage of mobile and the social interaction unique to Facebook,” Van Veen (Facebook’s global creative strategy chief) told Business Insider.

Lefevre expressed her excitement at joining in the creation of Facebook’s “original content ecosystem”. They look set to compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon — what this means for traditional TV is yet to be determined.

This addition to Facebook’s team comes mere weeks after Sony executive Michael Lynton made the move to Snapchat — just as original fictional content on Snapchat appears to be taking off.

Featured image: Iain Watson via Flickr

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