Trying Out “Facebook TV”

The other night I noticed something interesting. After putting the kids down and sitting on the couch with two fingers of Angel’s Envy, waiting for my wife to come down so we can binge on a few episodes of Bloodline (it’s pretty good by the way). I was browsing my Facebook feed and paused to watch a video of someone launching the Palisades at Squaw Valley after the recent storm. In the corner of the post I noticed a small message appear: “Add this to your saved videos”

I never noticed this before. Was it recently added to the iOS app? Had I simply missed it? Did FB just start promoting it? I recall they purchased Spool back in 2012, so maybe it’s their tech finally seeing the light of day in the mobile app. It’s clearly still in it’s infancy and not much more then a native social bookmarking tool for now, but it could be more… much more.

Sure it’s great to play catch up later on your commute or when you have downtime, that’s clear. But without a whole lot of work on anyone’s part, what if this became your very own personalized “TV” channel?

There’s a lot of chatter and conjecture on what Facebook is currently doing (nothing?) and planning to do in the TV space (something?). Twitter as we all know has laid many of their cards on the table, but Facebook has kept them pretty close to their vest.

Will Facebook over time, break this feature out and create a standalone video app to add to their growing arsenal? I wouldn’t be surprised. Facebook isn’t just one thing anymore; it’s a hub and spoke model now including: Messenger, Paper, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Riff (you’re too old for this last one, so don’t worry about it).

Quite a few times I’ve found myself sitting on the couch with the intent of turning on the TV, but instead sidetracked by the almost endless amount of high quality content in my feed. From amazing action sports content by GoPro and TGR, to foodie faves like Tasting Table and Eater, to LOL hysterical clips from Fallon, Funny or Die and Kimmel. I can easily get sucked in for a few videos as I scroll through all the great content. But after a little use, I find it gets tedious.

One key reason I don’t last much longer is because of the user experience. It really wasn’t easy to watch consecutive videos in FB until very recently. With the addition of video playlists, creating an uber-personalized TV channel throughout the day is now simple.

Imagine a dedicated app, I’ll call it Facebook TV, one that simply aggregates all the video posts from the publishers, content creators and friends you’ve Liked over the years. Imagine them stitched together in a beautiful interface that made it ridiculously easy to watch on a mobile device or casted to a TV. Would you use it? I sure would! I’ve spent years curating FB with likes and the thought of now being able to easily turn those into a personalized TV channel sounds amazing.

In part 2, I’ll address the “OMG What If…” part of how Facebook could become a cable company…

Note: this is a guest post by my friend, colleague, and perennial cofounder Adam Burg.


Originally published at futureoftv.co on April 19, 2015.