Facebook has long been one of the more popular social media sites, where friends and families can connect, communicate and share pictures. Total strangers become friends and random kitten and cooking videos come together to offer us a diverse and interesting feed, one many of us can lose ourselves in for hours at a time. In April of last year, Facebook’s creator and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the social media platform’s new “live” feature was being rolled out to every user. In his introduction of the new feature, Zuckerberg said: “When you interact live, you feel connected in a more personal way. This is a big shift in how we communicate, and it’s going to create new opportunities for people to come together.”
And he was right. It is expected that regular and live videos across Facebook will collectively reach 64 billion views a day by next month. And why not? Like Zuckerberg said, it builds a sense of community to know that we are all watching live action and are able to comment and read other viewer’s reactions in real time. So it only makes sense that Facebook’s next step is to provide its users with original programming that will include, among other things, scripted shows. So we’d basically be watching television on Facebook.
This is, really, a logical step for the social media giant. Other companies such as Netflix have greatly expanded their followings when they turned to original, exclusive programming. Instead of only being able to watch old shows and movies, users now have access to new content, and shows like Orange is the New Black, that run for more than a season, have proven very popular. But that’s what Netflix does: it provides viewers with shows and movies. Will this feature work for Facebook? Short videos work on this platform because they’re short. As much time as I spend on Facebook, I spend it in different ways. Very rarely will I watch a video (live or otherwise) for more than a few minutes before moving on to replying to comments, reading posts and poking the odd friend (yes, poking people is still an option, and I still use it).
I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see. Like I said, it’s a logical move, but whether it’s also a smart one remains to be seen.