Following the path of such varying brands as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and Google, Facebook has begun exploring the concept of original content as a means of expanding its user touch.
Like the other big names in technology, Facebook has no qualms with challenging the old guard of network and cable television studios, as well as Hollywood itself, in its quest to bring original programming to the social media platform.
Facebook Courts Varied Content for Users
Although the details are sketchy, The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook is actively seeking three different types of content: high-budget cable-esque shows, moderate-cost scripted shows and short-form, unscripted content. Its target audience is users aged 13-to-34, but it doesn’t want to create programming depicting children or young adults, instead choosing to focus on adult characters in adult situations. However, to remain community-friendly, political dramas, news programming and shows depicting nudity and graphic language are off the table.
“We’re supporting a small group of partners and creators as they experiment with the kinds of shows you can build a community around—from sports to comedy to reality to gaming,” Nick Grudin, VP of Media Partnerships at Facebook, stated. “We’re focused on episodic shows and helping all our partners understand what works across different verticals and topics.”
A Programming Redesign
Some of those partners are already in the midst of designing that programming. Facebook is hoping to launch this social entertainment experiment in late summer. BuzzFeed, ATTN and Refinery 29 are among partners that will be bringing the marriage of relatable programming and a vast amount of user data to life.
Facebook is also courting cast-off network programs and other titles that didn’t get a real chance to be seen, including a relationship drama called “Strangers,” game show “Last State Standing” and the recently-cancelled family comedy “Loosely Exactly Nicole.”
Facebook’s leap to original programming is an experiment that everyone in both television and social media is paying very close attention to. If it succeeds, Facebook will have the most ad-targetable television programming anywhere, but hitting that mark will be a challenge in a market where there’s already so much content that programs are regularly cancelled before the first season is over.