It’s been eons since Facebook has had a hit show for its long-running video platform Watch, thus it approaches a new strategy to allure the audience. The parent company of WhatsApp now plans on to revive some of the extinct trending television shows. The first and foremost agenda of Facebook is to stream all the episodes of Joss Whedon’s Angel, Firefly, and Buffy The Vampire Slayer free of cost on Facebook Watch.
Facebook held a synchronized viewing of Watch Parties wherein fans commented live collectively for Buffy on Friday, Angel on Saturday and Firefly on Sunday. Buffy star Sarah Michelle Gellar was recruited by Facebook to promote the launching event.
Although these shows are not real McCoy and are far from being exclusive since they are available on other platforms as well as Hulu to buy or rent, they possess run-of-the-mill content.
While Facebook’s version of MTV’s Real World is showing no signs of arrival until Spring 2019, these horror and sci-fi shows are the most exotic programs that the social media giant can dish out as a free ad-supportive streaming service. The possibility of fans exploring the rest of Watch’s programming due to these shows is high. In essence, these shows will work as a bait to attract the viewers.
Nonetheless, Facebook toned down this news by citing it as a change is a predominant strategy when asked if the company will be allowing some more old TV shows. In its place, the messaging titan is striving to concoct a well-rounded mixture of content. A spokesperson from Facebook issued the following statement:
“No – this doesn’t reflect a strategy shift. We’re focused on bringing content to Watch that people want to discuss and create a community around — whether that’s live sports like UEFA Champions League in Latin America, compelling shows like Sorry For Your Loss, Queen America, and Sacred Lies, or even nostalgia content like Real World reboot we’re bringing to Watch next year.
Buffy, Firefly and Angel are pop culture favorites with dedicated fan bases, and we’re excited for the opportunity to bring these shows back in a way that enables fans to watch and discuss together on the same platform.”
However, the new strategy doesn’t assure that Whedon fans will be alluded to Watch. Verizon attempted the same strategy launching Babylon 5 and Veronica Mars to its Go90 streaming channel. As the attempt drew a negative response, Go90 had to ultimately shut down. In the meantime, Watch Party’s synchronized viewing hasn’t bloomed into a sensation, however, introducing the same feature to Messenger might boost these social consumption experiences.
Since its lackluster August 2017 debut, Watch has made a little progress. Without a doubt, now 50 million people spend at least 1 minute per month browsing Watch. When comparing with Snapchat, over 18 Snapchat shows receive more than 10 million new visitors per month.
With ample of free video stuff floating around and plenty of people already chipping in for Hulu, HBO or/and Netflix, it is a tough fight for Watch to draw audience towards its platform when it is miles away from the normal usage of Facebook. Creating a pool of diverse content is a great start but if it tends to really wedge its way into our viewing habits then it has to include a truly must-see content.