Facebook Unveils ‘Watch’ Platform

New personalized feature aims to help users find and catch up on TV shows, engage with other viewers
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Expanding its video ambitions, Facebook has introduced Watch, a platform for mobile devices, laptops and PCs and in its TV apps designed to help users find and catch up on TV shows.

Watch, which follows Facebook’s U.S. launch of a Video tab last year, aims to help users keep up with the shows they follow along with a Watchlist that keeps track of new episodes.

And when a show is being viewed, comments from Facebook friends tied to that episode will appear on Watch. Users will also have the option to participate in a dedicated Facebook Group for the show.

Related: Facebook Finds Distracted Viewing Among Smartphone Users

Facebook, which posted a video showing Watch in action, believes the new platform will help users discover new shows, find episodes based on what their friends are watching, and catch up on shows that users are following, and join social conversations as a show is being aired.

Facebook said it’s introducing Watch to a “limited group” of U.S. users, and is likewise opening it up to a “limited group of creators” that plan to roll it out soon. About 40 shows will be featured when Watch is rolled out to everyone on Aug. 28, according to Business Insider.

Facebook, which has been streaming one Major League Baseball game per week, believes Watch will offer an online social TV home for a range of shows, including reality shows and live sports.

“Watch is personalized to help you discover new shows, organized around what your friends and communities are watching,” Daniel Danker, director of product at Facebook, explained in a blog post. “For example, you’ll find sections like 'Most Talked About,' which highlights shows that spark conversation; 'What’s Making People Laugh,' which includes shows where many people have used the 'Haha' reaction; and 'What Friends Are Watching,' which helps you connect with friends about shows they too are following.”

U.S. consumers are most likely to stream video via Facebook than any other social media platform, according to a survey from Fluent.

Per the study, 35% said they’d be likely to watch streaming video on Facebook, compared with 17% on Snapchat and 15% on Twitter.