Facebook launches “TV app” and makes big changes to video in newsfeeds

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February 15, 2017 by Paul Dughi

facebook-on-tvHere’s Facebook’s next big foray into the world of video:  a new Facebook video app for TV.  Facebook announced the app will roll out soon to app stores for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TV, with more platforms to come.

With the app, Facebook says you’ll be able to watch videos shared by friends or Pages you follow, top live videos from around the world, and recommended videos based on your interests.

There was a moment of hesitation when Facebook launched Messenger and made it a separate app from Facebook.  It quickly became the #2 social media app in the world with a billion monthly users – 2nd only to Facebook.  With FB’s big push into video, it first launched in stream, then added a video button and live notifications.  Now, it will also be a stand-alone app.

Facebook’s also announcing changes to video in news feeds, including adding sound to news feed videos, enhancing vertical video, and letting you watch videos while continuing to scroll.

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Bringing Sound to Videos in News Feed

“After testing sound on in News Feed and hearing positive feedback, we’re slowly bringing it to more people,” Facebook announced in a blog post.  “With this update, sound fades in and out as you scroll through videos in News Feed, bringing those videos to life.”

If your phone is set to silent, videos will not play with sound. If you never want videos to play with sound, you can disable this feature by switching off “Videos in News Feed Start With Sound” in Setings 

Vertical Video improvements

We’ve also made changes to make vertical videos look better on mobile devices. Last year FB began testing a larger preview of vertical videos in News Feed on mobile. People responded positively, so that larger format is now available to everyone watching videos on iOS and Android.

Watch and Scroll

It’s now possible to minimize the video you’re watching to a picture-in-picture view that keeps playing in the corner of your screen while you browse other stories in News Feed.

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