Facebook working on video-focused app for Apple TV and other set-top boxes

Facebook is reportedly working on a video-focused app for media-streaming boxes such as Apple’s fourth-generation Apple TV, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal. Last October, the social network launched a feature allowing users to stream videos from the mainland Facebook mobile app to their TVs via Apple TV. Tuning into television’s market with a dedicated streaming app of its own would help the company tap more ad dollars.

Although Facebook has been considering releasing an Apple TV app for several years, it finally decided to “make video a top strategic priority” some time last summer, sources told the Journal. The app is said to be one of several projects at Facebook meant to turn it into a video-first company that can compete for television ad dollars.

It’s a very smart, albeit long overdue move. Such an app would let Facebook serve its wellspring of video content to couch potatoes and millennials who primarily rely on set-top boxes and video-streaming apps for their daily entertainment needs.

The report reiterates that Facebook is considering licensing quality original video content, similar to how Netflix and Amazon pick up distribution rights to premium TV shows on their own platforms.

Variety was first to report last year that Facebook would like to bring scripted and unscripted TV shows to its platform as a way of jump-starting its own ecosystem of original video content.

“We’re exploring funding some seed video content, including original and licensed scripted, unscripted and sports content, that takes advantage of mobile and the social interaction unique to Facebook,” the company’s head of global creative strategy Ricky Van Veen told Variety.

“Our goal is to show people what is possible on the platform and learn as we continue to work with video partners around the world.”

Of course, Facebook’s been dabbling in video for some time now.

Its main service now supports live-streaming capabilities and the firm’s been integrating more videos along with the Live Stories feature into its photo-sharing app Instagram. It’s unclear if Facebook Live users would be able to broadcast to the forthcoming Apple TV app because the article is light on detail.

The rumored software may have something to do with Facebook running out of room for more ads on the News Feed, its main source of advertising revenue.

Facebook is currently the second-biggest player in digital advertising, after Google.

Source: The Wall Street Journal