Facebook Developing New Streaming Video App for TVs
There's no shortage of streaming apps available for your TV today, but soon there may be a new one from Facebook.
The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, on Tuesday evening reported that Facebook is developing a "video-centric" app for set-top boxes such as Apple TV. The report notes that Facebook is in talks with media companies to license "TV-quality programming," which it might distribute via the app as a premium feature.
Most of the video content on Facebook today consists of short clips. This new content would be longer -- around 10 minutes -- and similar to the stuff you'd see on TV. "Content could include scripted shows and sports and entertainment content created specifically for the platform," the Journal reported, citing "media executives familiar with the discussions."
For Facebook, the move is all about bringing in more advertising revenue. With News Feeds already cluttered with ads, Facebook needs somewhere new to put them, so it's turning to home TVs, the report notes.
The social network has been mulling this idea "for years," but started putting plans in motion last summer, the Journal said. Unlike Facebook's existing Roku app, which lets you view photos and videos, this new one would be exclusively for video content. There's no word as to when this product might reach living rooms.
Meanwhile on the streaming front, Comcast yesterday released a beta version of its Xfinity TV app for Roku devices. The app basically turns your Roku into a cable box for a second TV in your home. During the beta phase, you'll need to have at least one Comcast-provided TV box in your home, but the Roku app will let you get live and on-demand cable content on a second TV. Ditching the box doesn't mean ditching the fee, though. "On conclusion of the trial, you will be informed of the charges that will apply for connecting this device with your Xfinity TV service and will have the opportunity to opt in," according to a Comcast FAQ.