If you’ve been at all in tune with the modern world the last decade, you’ve definitely noticed that Facebook has largely taken over the social media sphere. From its classic blue-and-white timeline to its acquisition of Instagram to–most recently–its addition of Snapchat-like features, Facebook has done a stellar job keeping up with the fluctuating trends of every emerging generation.
Facebook just stepped up its game once again, unveiling a new feature to add to its continually growing roster: A new Watch tab that allows existing Facebook users to consume video content, chat and share with friends, and discover short-form videos and visual content that their friends are engaging with.
How does it show what we’re all really looking for in social media?
Facebook’s move of blending video content with intimate online interaction with our friends and family shows us that–for the vast majority of social media users–the most important aspect of going online is our interactive engagement with our personal communities.
Although Facebook’s forthcoming Watch tab definitely mirrors existing video platforms–YouTube’s, in particular, is easily the first to jump to mind–it offers a new way to interact with existing online friend networks that YouTube doesn’t. So, despite the video giant’s 1 billion users per month, Facebook’s newest feature–with the platform’s 2 billion monthly users–could potentially help the company unseat YouTube as the reigning video king.
Think about it for a second. Whenever you look up a YouTube video, you’re there simply to watch the content. Sometimes, you might take a couple minutes to scroll through the comments section to check out what trolls and random people from the Internet are saying before leaving to watch the next video, or close the tab altogether.
When you discover a video on Facebook, however, it’s usually something your friends have shared. You might be more interested, more willing to comment, and more likely to re-share it yourself–which is ultimately a lot more engagement than a video on YouTube would experience.
So, next time you watch a video on any social platform, think about how you interact with it. With Facebook’s new update, you might be surprised by how much having a community online will change your habits.