In the future, users will be able to follow topics on Facebook Watch and watch the currently most popular videos in the highlights.
Facebook is expanding its own video platform Watch with two new options for users. First, the social media group is rolling out the new Topics feature. This allows users to follow Facebook Watch topics based on hashtags. The users are then shown video clips for these within their watch stream. Facebook explains:
Whether you’re into cooking or hip hop, finding watch videos that are interesting should be easy. So in addition to following your favorite Pages and Profiles, you can now also follow topics. Topics let you personalize the videos that show up in your feed so it’s tailored to what you care about. You can find and follow topics in Watch, and there are hundreds to choose from like Crafts, Comedy, Dance and Beauty.
The new feature was tested last month and discovered by the TechCrunch news portal. With topics, users can personalize the watch feed to a greater extent. This could lead to Facebook’s video platform being used more frequently. The new topic feature is currently only available for users from the USA. However, Facebook wants to roll out the extension for Watch in other countries in the coming months.
Facebook Watch: Discover the most popular videos now in the highlights
As a second new feature, Facebook is introducing Highlights for Watch. Here users can find and watch the currently most popular videos. Facebook explains:
In the US and select markets, you’ll find What’s Happening and Featured sections in Watch. Videos in these sections are chosen by Facebook so you can catch up on timely and relevant moments, like the Television Academy’s annual Emmy Award […] and the latest music videos from your favorite artists. We also added sections like Most Haha’d This Week and Most Loved This Week so you can see the videos that other people are engaging with in Watch. In addition, you’ll see videos in your watch feed based on what your friends are reacting to and what’s popular in your groups.
The new highlights feature could also mean that users spend more time on Facebook Watch. Because not only clips that are popular in general are shown here to users, but also those that are currently attracting a lot of engagement from Facebook contacts.
The new Discovery Features clearly show that Facebook is trying to focus more on video content. With the ever-increasing popularity of clip formats, this is no surprise. It seems that Facebook doesn’t just want to compete with TikTok with the new Instagram feature Reels. But with the expansion of Facebook Watch, attack the market dominance of Google’s video platform YouTube. It remains to be seen what opportunities this will open up for publishers, creators and advertisers.