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Popular Facebook page “Humans of New York” is releasing a 12-episode documentary series to Facebook’s recently announced Watch tab.
The 30-minute series has been filmed over the last four years and features the candid and sincere interviews for which the page is known. Creator Brandon Stanton told The Hollywood Reporter that he interviewed over 1200 people once it became clear that film was the natural evolution for the project.
In the seven years since its creation, the page has garnered over 18-million followers — two-thirds of which is from outside the United States. Stanton has released two New York Times bestselling books based on the venture — but now he’s refocusing on digital for the series.
Stanton told THR that Facebook felt like a natural fit for the long in-the-works series — both because its where it all started and because of the platform’s global reach.
The latter is a strange reason to use the platform for the series, though, as the Watch tab is currently only available to a limited portion of the US.
The series adds to Facebook’s Watch video tab which sees the company competing with other video powerhouses like YouTube and Netflix.
The feature is a source of more revenue for a platform that is running out of ad space on its News Feed, but many are reluctant to welcome it with open arms. Facebook hasn’t proven its value with webs shows just yet — the lions’s share of its views come from recipe videos and the introduction of mid-roll adverts have left many users up-in-arms about video in general.
The company is also offering publishers the option to pay to get their videos noticed, favouring brands and making it unlikely YouTube content creators will make the jump any time soon.
Humans of New York is set to premiere next week.