Facebook continues to expand the way we consume content online. And this week, the social network’s VP of product, Fidji Simo, announced the launch of Watch – a new tab that will allow users to access original, TV-style episodic content – similar to YouTube and Snapchat.
As one of Facebook’s 30+ official partners, the World Surf League will launch its own original programming in the form of 2-hour condensed versions of WSL contests. The show will be called WSL Surfing Sundays.
According to WSL Chief Community Officer Tim Greenberg, the launch of Watch is an opportunity for the WSL to grow viewership.
“Facebook is building an ecosystem of video content and we’re excited to experiment with new formats to continue to build our community on Facebook,” he said. “The WSL Surfing Sundays show is cut-down versions of our events – all of the best waves and moments condensed into a 2-hour block. New episodes are added globally on Facebook every Sunday at 1pm PT.”
The move makes sense. Because, what’s the most boring part of watching competitive surfing? Waiting between sets. Of course the drawback is by the time the event is neatly packaged for “Surfing Sundays,” it’s no longer live.
In a post, Mark Zuckerberg explained in more detail what would be possible with Watch:
“Watching a show doesn’t have to be passive. It can be a chance to share an experience and bring people together who care about the same things.
“That’s why today we’re launching the Watch tab in Facebook — a place where you can discover shows your friends are watching and follow your favorite shows and creators so you don’t miss any episodes. You’ll be able to chat and connect with people during an episode, and join groups with people who like the same shows afterwards to build community.”
Zuckerberg explained Watch will roll out to select users soon. No word when it will roll out to everyone.