Facebook Inc. is testing a dedicated video channel, stepping up its rivalry with online video giant YouTube for viewers’ time and advertisers’ spending, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The social media network said Tuesday the channel will appear as a tab on users’ home pages where they can save videos that have appeared in their news feed.
Facebook will also include videos recommended on the basis of other videos a user has watched, as well as videos posted by friends, companies and celebrities they follow.
“This new videos section helps people discover, watch and share videos on Facebook that are relevant to them,” Will Cathcart, vice president of product management, said in a blog post.
The changes are designed to help Facebook compete for more of the roughly US$200 billion that firms now spend each year on television ads.
Research firm ZenithOptimedia estimates that TV ads accounted for 39 percent of global ad spending last year.
Videos uploaded directly to Facebook have grown immensely popular. Facebook says its users collectively watch more than four billion videos a day.
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