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Facebook prepares to take on YouTube

Facebook is testing a new video section on its social media platform. The feature appears on both the web and app versions of its service, and aims to make it easier for users to “discover, watch and share” clips uploaded to the site.

Facebook said only a “small number of people” would initially be able to use the new video feature while it was being tested. The section is accessed via an icon at the bottom of the screen in Facebook’s app and in the Favourites section on the top left-hand side of its web page. For now, it is limited to suggested clips based on a user’s own activities as well as those of their friends, but a search function will likely be added in the future.

Once the viewer starts watching a clip, they can quickly switch to another one by flicking upwards on the app. Users can also bookmark videos for future watching.

Facebook is also experimenting with placing ads between the initial clip the user clicks on and other “suggested” videos it then suggests as follow-up views. To persuade video-makers to upload their clips to its service – rather than just post links to YouTube or other hosting sites – it also recently announced plans to share the revenue generated by these adverts.

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