What you need to know about Facebook’s YouTube competitor

Facebook on Thursday announced Watch, an original video platform for your viewing pleasure.

Below are some common questions you may find yourself asking (or answering) about the new Facebook platform.

Do I have access?

Odds are you don’t quite yet. Facebook has said it’s going to start with a “limited group of people in the US” and then expand to more users “soon.”

How do I know if I have it?

From what we can gather, the Videos tab will be replaced with the new Watch icon. It looks like a computer monitor with a Play icon in the middle of it. 

We’ve asked Facebook if users will get some sort of notification or splash screen, and will update this section when we receive an answer. 

I have Watch! Now what?

If you’ve ever opened the Videos tab in the app before, then you’re ahead of the game. Scroll through the Watch feed, and when you find a video you want to watch, tap on the thumbnail and it will start playing.

What can I do besides watch videos?

Facebook Watch comment thread. 


Watch has a comment feature so you can chat with those who are watching the same video as you, but it’s unclear if the list of comments you see will be all comments or only those posted while you’re watching. 

Also, you can follow shows to stay on top of new episodes or add videos to your watch-later list.

How is Watch different from the old Videos tab?

Watch looks and works similarly to the former Videos tab. Only, instead of a stream of videos curated from various Facebook Pages and accounts, Watch shows you videos created exclusively for Facebook.

In other words, previously the videos you watched could have been — and often were — posted across multiple social networks. With Watch, the videos you find there can only be found there.

So it’s basically YouTube?

Kind of. It’s more like a mashup of YouTube and Netflix with exclusive content, sometimes in a serial format, combined with a social twist.

Will Watch be Live?

Yes, Facebook has already announced a few different shows that will be carried live. Gabby Bernstein, a New York Times bestselling author, will use Live to answer questions from fans, and Major League Baseball will stream one game each week.

All right, what’s it cost?

Right now, it’s free. Well, free in the sense that you’re surely going to see ads and Facebook is going to use what you watch to better target you with those ads. But, as far as a monthly fee, you don’t have to pay a thing.

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