Facebook has unveiled more partnerships with major media companies in what looks like a bid to transform the world’s biggest social network into a key entertainment hub.
As reported here on Tuesday, Facebook will launch a real-time stream of what its users are watching and listening to online. The social network will introduce the new “ticker” stream alongside partnerships with major media companies. Now Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO, has confirmed partnerships with Spotify, Netflix and many other established media companies as he said that 800 million people worldwide now use the social network.
“The last five years of social networking have been about getting people signed up,” Zuckerberg told Facebook’s f8 conference in San Francisco. ” Now social networks are a ubiquitous tool used by billions of people around the world to stay connected every day.”
Facebook has in recent months recently ramped up its attempts to attract and keep Internet users on the site in the wake of competition from Twitter and a new rival in Google. As part of the changes, Facebook users will be able to automatically share activity such as viewing, listening and reading in a live “ticker” stream, once they have opted in to the feature. The new stream will be separate from the existing Facebook news feed, although popular items – such as the most frequently played songs among friends – will appear in the column.
“We are making it so you can connect to anything you want. Now you don’t have to like a book, you can just read a book,” Zuckerberg said. “You don’t have to like a movie; you can just watch a movie.”
Netflix subscribers can watch movies and TV shows from the US movie and TV streaming giant’s catalogue directly via the social network for the first time.
Once an individual connects their Netflix account with Facebook, they can see what their friends are watching on any device that streams from Netflix, which includes games consoles, tablets and connected TVs.
The app will initially be available exclusively to Netflix subscribers in Canada and Latin America. It is unable to roll out in the US until due to a 1980s law that doesn’t allow for the automatic sharing of movies and TV shows on third-party platforms. But Netflix director of said is still hoping to make it available to US subscribers.
As well as Netflix and Spotify, other partners announced included Veo, Guardian and Yahoo.