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Facebook Debuts New App for Video Makers, Similar to YouTube

November 16, 2017, 11:50 PM UTC

Facebook is stepping up it efforts to pick off YouTube’s video creators.

The social media giant on Thursday announced a new Facebook Creator app that offers exclusive tools for creating and promoting streaming videos. Facebook also has a new section of its desktop website, called Facebook for Creators, where video makers can get tips to improve their video-making skills and better connect with viewers by using Facebook’s features.

The mobile app, which debuts on Apple’s iOS devices today and on Android devices “in the coming months,” includes features that let users to add intros and outros to their Facebook Live broadcasts, as well as custom live stickers and video frames. Video creators can also use the app’s community tab to pull together and respond to comments on their videos from across Facebook’s ecosystem of services—including Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger messages. The app also offers video and page analytics that allow users to track how their followers are watching their creations.

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“Creators around the world are sharing their videos on Facebook to build a community around their passion — whether their passion is comedy sketches, their favorite recipes, or even knitting sweaters,” Chris Hatfield, a Facebook video product manager, said in a blog post announcing the new tools on Thursday. “On Facebook, creators can connect with more than two billion potential fans and collaborators, get to know their community, talk directly to fans with Live, and monetize with products like branded content.”

Facebook first teased the new app for video creators in June as the company looks to continue building up its digital video service. Facebook launched its Watch streaming TV service this year and reportedly plans to spend up to $1 billion annually on original video programming in an attempt to better compete in a crowded space with companies like Netflix and Amazon while maximizing its potential for digital video ad dollars.

But, Facebook is also very much in the market for the sort of homegrown video programming from its own users that is more typically associated with YouTube. Facebook is surely hoping to woo some of those same creators away from its Google-owned rival, especially following recent problems that have made it more difficult for video creators at YouTube to monetize their creations.