Facebook is beefing up its video offerings again with the new “Watch” platform, which could have implications for how travel agents market themselves on the social network.
According to Facebook’s official blog, Watch is a new video platform for Facebook. Unlike the company’s previously launched Facebook Live videos, which run in users’ newsfeeds, Watch will host shows made up of individual live or prerecorded videos that users can access through an interface that resembles YouTube. Watch will be personalized around individual users, meaning that it will be likely to show users shows based on what their friends and communities are watching.
For travel agents looking to use Facebook to reach potential clients, the move could make video a much bigger part of their marketing strategy. While Facebook Live videos can let agents post jaw-dropping travel footage in real time, once the broadcast is over, that video can be quickly pushed down users’ newsfeeds, making it difficult to find again. (In fact, Facebook has recommended that Live videos be as long as possible for just this reason – the longer the video, the more time it has to draw in an audience.)
Videos on Watch, on the other hand, will live in a dedicated platform that will allow users to access them long after the video is aired. That means that each video an agent posts can continue attracting eyeballs for a longer time than is currently possible, giving agents a potentially bigger bang for their video buck.
Like the newsfeed algorithm, Watch will show users videos based on “what their friends are watching,” meaning it will probably be important to attract as many Likes and Shares as possible to help the video spread. Additionally, Facebook has released four categories of shows that it thinks will do well on the new platform:
- Shows that engage fans and community
- Live shows that connect directly with fans
- Shows that follow a narrative arc or have a consistent theme
- Live events that bring communities together
Watch is not available for general sign-ups yet. Facebook has said that it is introducing the platform to a limited group of publishers in the U.S., with plans to roll it out on a wider basis “soon.”