This is Facebook TV.
Today I saw the future of TV.
I’m scrolling through the Facebook news feed on my computer, and I notice a call-to-action that says Click for more.
I click the CTA, the video becomes full screen and continues playing. I notice a horizontal bar of 10 videos below the main video. The bar is endlessly scrollable, with all the videos that the Facebook algorithm knows I may be interested in.
I click to another video in the horizontal feed, and it immediately begins playing in the big hero slot. Then, I click on the original video I was watching and it immediately begins playing right where I’d left off.
I click back and forth between a dozen different videos, and each one of them resumes playing exactly where I’d left off. It is so fast and intuitive. I watch CNN and NowThis and HuffPo. This is what TV is supposed to be.
For anyone that has the new Apple TV, these screenshots must look familiar. This new Facebook video interface is very similar to the UI of apps on the new Apple TV. Big rectangle on top, small rectangles on bottom. It looks like it’s made for the new Apple TV remote.
I would be surprised if this is not the UI of the Facebook app for Apple TV. I hope it is. Content discovery on TV is broken, we all know that. Too many channels, terrible UI, antiquated remote, lots of mediocre content. The Internet also has too much content, and it is similarly too hard to search through it all. That’s why Facebook is so popular.
The Facebook algorithm is among the most important and valuable inventions of the modern Internet.
For a long time I’ve said that Facebook is the TV guide of the future, because each of its 1.5 billion users have a data-driven customized TV guide. Based on Facebook’s latest video discovery innovations, it seems we’re close.
If the Internet is the future of TV (it is), so is Facebook.