Skip to Content

Loading...

Series

Facebook Watch Won't Be Any Better Than Facebook Live

June 05, 2018 00:00 AM UTC
- Updated September 02, 2020 11:39 AM UTC

But it’ll have some big names.

Transcript
[MUSIC PLAYING] Welcome to Fortune Tech Debate where we discuss the issues of the day in two minutes. Today, we're talking about Facebook Watch. Lisa Marie, what on earth is this thing? Well, you don't have to worry. It's not a competitor to the Apple Watch. Thank God. It is, however, a partnership that Facebook is doing with some news sites and new television channels as well. And it's going to bring video news to Facebook. And I'm confused about this. But have we tried this before? Hasn't Facebook have been downplaying news in recent months on its platform? It changed its algorithm, so that those sources wouldn't pop up. And instead, preferring to show your friend content. And of course, the trending topics module, very, very controversial. None of these things have scaled, none of these things have worked. I don't understand why this is supposed to work. And I'm not convinced. That's fair. I think a lot of users probably are. And I think that's actually Facebook's kind of end game here. I feel like they're trying to correct the mistakes that they made with the trending section, as we know that went through a lot of issues. And now, this is a way to really bring reputable news sources to its users. Now, the big question in my mind is whether or not the business model makes sense underneath it, right? I can't remember how long ago. Was it a year? Maybe in two, where Facebook Live was all the rage. And you saw all these news organizations creating content specifically for Facebook. But yes, Facebook was paying them, but it wasn't enough. And so it didn't really take off. And today, we don't see it use this much. Look at the production values of the companies they've signed up for this new effort. CNN and Anderson Cooper, Fox, Univision, they don't go small. This isn't exactly a watermelon and rubber band situation. And I really wonder, is Facebook actually paying them enough to warrant a sustainable project? That's a good point. But it's also important to remember that CNN, Fox have done Facebook Live. And now that Facebook is partnering them, it's possible they've offered them a better deal. And they've taken the bait. That's entirely true. But you said the word right there, bait. And that's what I think it kind of is. But we've run out of time. Come to fortune.com for more tech debate. [MUSIC PLAYING]