Facebook has begun to roll out its new video streaming service in the US. Called Facebook Watch, the feature is seen as a direct challenge to YouTube. That said, it’s only available in the US for now; with no word on when it will be reaching the rest of the world.
Facebook Watch has technically been available for US viewers for about a month now. The social media giant began testing it with a handful of users in early August, and has been releasing it in stages for a wider audience. However, don’t expect it to reach Malaysia any time soon.
The service currently has a very limited amount of content, with most of it being home made videos. There are also some professional productions from studios like National Geographic and Vox.
Of course, music companies are already expressing concerns about copyright infringement on Facebook Watch. Which is nothing really surprising considering that these companies have traditionally taken a very hardline stance against the use of any copyrighted music in views.
Bloomberg is reporting that Facebook has a plan to get these companies on board with Facebook Watch even before it can build a system to tag and detect copyright infringement. The company is said to be in talks to simply pay for the use of music in all user uploaded videos; without asking Facebook content creators for money.
It’s a rather ambitious plan, although Facebook doesn’t actually lack the funds to pull this off. Whether music companies are willing to go ahead with the idea is another story.
On the other hand, allowing people to upload videos without addressing music owners could result in even more unhappy parties. Users would be annoyed when their videos are taken down by copyright strikes, while music companies would be equally upset at having to constantly flag and chase offenders.
Still, it’s early days for Facebook Watch. It’s uncertain if people will even begin using the service. Especially considering that the current geographic limitation also reduces the potential audience size. If anything, there’s nothing to see here until it goes global.