Facebook is coming soon to a TV near you
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Facebook started on desktop computers and fought its way onto smartphones. Now it wants to own your television too.
Facebook said Tuesday it plans to launch apps for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TV. They will bring videos shared on the social network into the living room.
The video app is expected to roll out “soon” to these three TV platforms, with others to come later, according to the company.
The launch could position Facebook to grab a share of lucrative TV advertising budgets at a time when the company is hitting a ceiling for the number of online ads it can put it in front of users.
Facebook has invested in live video, made it easier to search for videos and has begun dipping its toes into the market for original content.
“I see video as a megatrend on the same order as mobile,” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO and cofounder, said on an earnings call this month. “That’s why 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.”
Facebook is also taking steps to make videos more engaging — or more of a nuisance, depending on your perspective.
The social network’s videos will begin to autoplay with the sound turned on when the phone is not set to silent. It’s also embracing vertical video, a format popularized by rival Snapchat.
Facebook faces a competitive market that includes Google’s YouTube, traditional TV networks and Snapchat, which may soon have billions of dollars to throw around thanks to its upcoming IPO.
Last year, Facebook hired CollegeHumor founder Ricky Van Veen to oversee investments in original programming. Facebook has also paid publishers and celebrities to create live videos.