This new Facebook app is one of several Facebook projects aimed at making it a “video-first” company that can compete for television ad dollars. Facebook has been marketing its live-streaming capabilities, testing a new video ad product and integrating more videos into Instagram, its photo-sharing app.
This set-top box app that is under development would a promising route for Facebook to seize a larger portion of TV budgets, the people familiar with its app development said. Facebook has been contemplating some version of a video-focused set-top box app for years, but the effort was revived last summer when Facebook executives decided to double-down on video for the second half of 2016. In October, Facebook introduced a feature allowing users to stream videos from the Facebook app to their TVs through devices like Apple TV or Google Chromecast.
The new app would go further than other set-top box apps that Facebook has developed with companies like Roku, Inc., because one design Facebook was mulling wouldn’t contain any “non-video content,” said one person briefed on the app. The existing Roku Channel allows users to view photos and videos.
“If there’s good video content, you’ll actually watch a couple thirty-second video ads,” one person familiar with the efforts said.
Need cord cutting tech support? Join our new Cord Cutting Tech Support Facebook Group for help.