Facebook has introduced a new video service, pitting it against YouTube and TV networks.
Users will soon see a new Watch tab that will offer a range of shows, some of which have been funded by Facebook.
Watch will be personalized so that users can discover new shows, based on what their friends are watching.
Viewers will also be able to see comments and connect with friends and dedicated groups for shows.
The company’s founder Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post: “Watching a show doesn’t have to be passive.
“It can be a chance to share an experience and bring people together who care about the same things.”
Video has been available on Facebook for some time, but until now, it has mostly been dominated by amateur clips or short segments from news organizations.
Facebook added a video tab in 2016, and has hinted for some time that it might make the move to producing original content.
Watch could open up new revenue potential for both Facebook and program makers, while users can expect to see targeted advertising before and during the shows.
Facebook is entering an increasingly complex and crowded market, and will face competition from traditional TV networks as well as other online services like YouTube and Netflix.
On August 9, Disney announced that from 2019, it will scrap its existing deal with Netflix and create its own direct-to-consumer streaming-video services.
Disney will also set up a sports-themed ESPN streaming service in 2018.
Facebook already has content lined up, including Major League Baseball, Women’s basketball, parenting shows and a safari show from National Geographic.
According to Reuters, Facebook has also inked deals with millennial-oriented media groups Vox Media, BuzzFeed, ATTN, Group Nine Media and others to produce shows.
Watch will have a limited release in the US before it is rolled out more broadly.