Facebook announced it is launching a video app for TV, which will roll out soon to app stores for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TV, with more platforms to follow.
“Our video app for TV is a new way to enjoy Facebook videos on a bigger screen. Last year we rolled out the ability for you to stream videos from Facebook to your TV, and today’s announcement expands this capability,” the social media giant said in a statement, adding: “people are watching and sharing more video on Facebook than ever”.
According to a report earlier this month about the possibility of such an app, Facebook is also in talks with media companies to licence long-form TV-quality programming created specifically for the platform, including scripted shows and sports. A set-top box app would be an ideal way to push out such content.
With the app, users can watch videos shared by friends or pages they follow, top live videos from around the world and recommended videos based on their interests.
They can also catch up on videos they have saved to watch later, and revisit videos already watched, shared or uploaded.
More video updates
Facebook also announced other updates to the video viewing experience in its core app.
Until now, videos in the news feed played without sound unless a user tapped on it, but with a new update sound fades in and out as users scroll through their feed. The feature will not work if a device is set to silent, and can also be completely disabled.
Following positive feedback to tests of a larger preview of vertical videos on mobile, the format is now available on both iOS and Android.
It is also now possible to minimise a video to a picture-in-picture view which keeps playing in the corner of a user’s screen while they browse other stories. Android users can keep a video playing even when they exit the Facebook app.
In an earnings call earlier this month, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he saw “video as a megatrend”, adding: “We’re going to keep putting video first across our family of apps and making it easier for people to capture and share video in new ways.”