Facebook ramps up video offer with revamped Watch tab

Facebook is ramping up its video offering as a stronger rival to YouTube and Snapchat with the launch of its redesigned video tab.

The new tab, called "Watch", was announced by the social media giant recently in a blog post.

Watch will showcase original TV shows, both live and recorded, and will be personalised for users with an algorithm organised around what the user likes and what their friends are watching.

"We’ve learned from Facebook Live that people’s comments and reactions to a video are often as much a part of the experience as the video itself. So when you watch a show, you can see comments and connect with friends and other viewers while watching, or participate in a dedicated Facebook Group for the show," Facebook said in the blog post.

Watch is being introduced to "a limited group of people" in the US first, Facebook said, but the plan is to roll it out wide "soon".

The announcement comes a day before Snapchat's second-quarter earnings, which is expected to be released later today after markets close in the US. Facebook's move into higher-quality video could be attractive to a younger audience that is increasingly using Snapchat.

In a Facebook post, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg added: "We believe it's possible to rethink a lot of experiences through the lens of building community -- including watching video. Watching a show doesn't have to be passive. It can be a chance to share an experience and bring people together who care about the same things."

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