Facebook announces 'Watch,' a Netflix-like streaming service

Posted at 12:55 PM, Aug 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-10 12:55:10-04

(RNN) - On Tuesday, Facebook announced it will be publishing original TV shows through a service titled "Watch," a platform people can run through the site.

Watch will be available on mobile, desktop and through smart TV apps. The shows Watch publishes are made up of episodes - some live and others recorded.

Like Netflix, Watch will have a "Watchlist" so people can keep up with shows and be notified when a new episode is pushed.

"Watch is personalized to help you discover new shows, organized around what your friends and communities are watching," Facebook said.

The service will have sections like "Most Talked About," "What's Making People Laugh" and "What Friends Are Watching." These categories are populated with data pulled from user's viewing habits, as well as how they "reacted" to the episode; Facebook allows users to review an episode with its novelty Like/Reaction buttons.

Users can also see the comments on a Watch episode while watching, or participate in a dedicated Facebook Group for the show.

Watch will publish a wide range of content, from live sports to comedy to reality TV. The opening library will feature 18 shows, one hosted by Dirty Jobs' Mike Rowe. 

Here's a full list, as reported by TechCrunch:

  • Tastemade’s Kitchen Little – This cooking show sees kids watch a how-to recipe video, then instruct a pro chef how to make the dish with comedic results
  • Major League Baseball – The MLB will broadcast one game a week live on Facebook
  • Major League Baseball “12:25 Live” –  A comedic look at baseball with help from the fans
  • Mike Rowe – Rowe finds people who’ve done great things for their community and gives them a special experience in return
  • Nas Daily – Vlogger Nas makes videos with his biggest friends each day
  • Gabby Bernstein – Motivational speaker and author answers fans’ life questions in live and recorded segments
  • A&E’s “Bae or Bail” – Reality TV game show where couples face their fears and see who runs
  • All Def Digital’s “Inside the Office” – A look inside the office life at Russel Simmons’ hip-hop media empire
  • Billboard’s “How it Went Down” – A documentary series of musicians sharing crazy stories
  • David Lopez’s “My Social Media Life”  – A reality show about the social media star’s life
  • Golden State Warriors’ “Championship Rewind”  – A behind-the-scenes look at the Bay Area’s NBA championship 2016-2017 season
  • Univision Deportes’ “Liga MX” – Live coverage of LigaMX soccer matches
  • National Geographic’s “We’re Wired that Way” – Mini-documentaries about weird quirks of humanity like songs you can’t get out of your head
  • National Geographic’s “Safari Live” – Watch live safaris led by National Geographic’s guides
  • NASA’s “Science @ NASA” – Explore science topics in quick four to five-minute episodes
  • NBA’s “WNBA All-Access” – A behind the scenes show with women’s basketball stars
  • The Dodo’s “Comeback Kids: Animal Edition” - Determined animals facing difficult conditions or challenges meet people who refuse to give up on them.
  • Tommy Mac – A master woodworker gives live tutorials on how to make furniture

Facebook said they'll be introducing Watch to a limited group of people in the U.S. first, with plans to bring the experience to more soon.

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