Facebook is making changes to its platform by renaming the “Watch” tab to “Video” and expanding its capabilities to include Reels, long-form content, and live videos. Users will now have the option to vertically scroll through videos or use a horizontal carousel to browse Reels. The “Video” section will be prominently located at the top of the Android app and at the bottom of the iOS app.
In addition to the video-centric feed, users will also be able to access an explore page through the search button. This explore page will feature various reels, long-form content, and live videos related to relevant topics and hashtags, curated by an algorithm to showcase content that is expected to be enjoyable and interesting to users.
In 2017, Facebook introduced “Facebook Watch” to compete with YouTube’s success, initially focusing on TV shows and long-form content. However, the platform has undergone various transformations since then. Features like Watch Party, which allowed group viewing of videos, were discontinued, and the original programming division was shut down earlier this year. Facebook also discontinued live video products related to shopping and game streaming.
To enhance user experience, Facebook is introducing new editing tools for Reels and the main feed. These tools include features like speed adjustment, clip reversal, and clip replacement. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is also adding support for HDR videos on Reels, improving audio track selection, noise reduction, and voiceover recording.
In an effort to create a more seamless connection between Instagram and Facebook, users will now be able to view and comment on Instagram Reels within the Facebook app. It is worth noting that cross-posting of Reels from Instagram to Facebook has been possible for some time.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been positioning the platform as a “discovery engine” that surfaces content beyond users’ social circles. These recent changes reflect a step towards that vision. Users can expect to see these updates on both the Facebook app and website.