Facebook plugs into TV streaming
- In a company blog post, Facebook announced a new feature that allows users to stream video to TV sets via Apple TV and Chromecast units.
- Casting will be available from the desktop version of Facebook as well as the iOS app, and Facebook said Android users will be getting acess to Chromecast units soon.
- While Facebook video is streaming to TV sets, users are still able to scroll through their News Feed to view more content.
The idea of “second screening,” where people watch TV and engage with social media simultaneously, has long been part of the social experience, especially on Twitter, with users tweeting about news and other live events as they occur. Last month, Twitter took its engagement with TV a step further by releasing apps for Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Xbox One.
Facebook is now following suit in a clear push toward more video content on more devices — a move it's said users have been asking for, but one that also indicates the company is quickly transforming itself into a major digital video platform.
“We’re focused on creating video experiences that people want, and we’ve heard that people want different options for how and where they watch videos that they discover on Facebook," Brent Ayrey, product director at Facebook, wrote in the post.
Amid well-publicized struggles at the corporate level, Twitter has made strides this year to reinvent itself as the live video social media platform, with multiple media deals including presidential debate streams with both Bloomberg and BuzzFeed News and a 10 game package with the NFL. If Facebook can convince its billion-plus users to tune its own service onto their TVs, Twitter could be facing more serious live streaming competition while also taking a hit as to what makes its platform unique.