What the New Facebook Changes Mean for TV
While a lot of the buzz has centred on music, be prepared to see some moves into the TV space shortly – trendsetters Netflix and Hulu are amongst the first to sign up.
Firstly, Facebook’s Live Ticker is an important development that puts it in direct competition with Twitter. The Live Ticker creates a real-time stream of user activity on the homepage, and helps viewers share things like what they are watching, and what shows they recommend. This could give TV operators and app developers access to real-time information, allowing Facebook to offer a similar service to Twitter.
In the past, Twitter has a strong offering for TV because it provides large quantities of public, real-time statistics. Few users on Twitter hide their data and all tweets are meant for public consumption, making it much easier to tap into the zeitgeist. However, with Facebook’s new Live Ticker, their offering to the TV industry becomes significantly stronger. Whether they evolve this into a real-time trending service like Twitter has remains to be seen.
Another significant change for the TV space is the new version of Facebook’s Open Graph. The Open Graph now features "a new class of social apps", allowing users to watch TV shows, movies and listen to music without leaving Facebook. The function is enabled through partnerships with media providers such as Hulu, Netflix and Spotify.
On the back of the new Open Graph, Hulu has launched a brand new Facebook app, which helps make the Hulu experience more share-able. The new app let consumers watch Hulu’s content directly within Facebook. The app simplifies sharing what you watch and chat about what they’re watching in real-time. Techcrunch highlights the fact that you can also leave comments in real-time on particular moments in the video, adding a whole new layer of interactivity.
Ultimately Facebook's latest changes mean that TV operators will be able to build richer, more interactive apps that make watching video and TV easier to share. This offering makes it simple to chat with friends around a specific show, leave comments, and create social recommendations. Perhaps most importantly, the changes enable operators to have much deeper access to data in real-time. This will enable operators to offer more accurate social recommendations and collect nuanced data about their viewers that will become essential in driving highly targeted ad revenues.
According to Zuckerberg, “This next wave of companies understands that, if you can help people discover an order of magnitude more content than they could before, that enables all kinds of new models to work, whether ad-supported or subscription,” Zuckerberg said. “These companies are not just rethinking the experience of watching content with your friends. They’re rethinking these entire industries.”
Do you think Facebook will have a long-term impact on TV?
Emma Wells, Marketing Manager