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Facebook Rumored To Debut Original TV Programming Next Month: A-List Celebrities Reportedly Attached

7 May 2017, 12:33 am EDT By Carl Velasco Tech Times
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Facebook will reportedly debut its slate of original content by mid-June. There will be two main types of content, and A-list celebrities are reportedly attached to star on some of the shows.  ( David Ramos | Getty Images )

Facebook is reportedly gearing up to roll out its roster of original content soon. The company is developing 24 shows, in total, scheduled to premiere mid-June.

Facebook Original Programming

Facebook has reportedly given the go-signal for multiple shows to go into production. As Business Insider reports, the company is looking for shows in two kinds of tiers: high-quality shows, akin to the caliber of Netflix's House of Cards, and short-format shows that are less expensive to make, which would refresh every 24 hours.

In February, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he wanted users to visit the site and watch "episodic content." It's part of the company's big push to launch itself as a formidable player in the TV sphere, as it wants in on the billion-dollar advertising pie spent on television annually.

Facebook looks at scripted programming as a crucial step to retain users, particularly the company's younger demographic share that is flocking to its rival — Snapchat.

How its original programs will play out and how it plans to convince users to stay for the longer, more traditional programming remains unclear. Whether the longer-format shows be offered on-site or as a separate, standalone subscription service is also still unknown. However, in terms of the shorter-format video clips, Facebook has unarguably had success in this digestible array of minutes-length clips on its site already.

Virtual Reality Dating

The full lineup of original programming is still indefinite, but Facebook has reportedly greenlit a virtual reality dating program by Conde Nast Entertainment, where individuals meet VR-style before meeting in real life, according to Business Insider, citing a source who refused to be named.

A-List Stars Are Involved

Facebook has also reportedly tapped A-list celebrities to star in some of its original programs, and one Hollywood A-lister is reportedly already attached to star in one show. No details at present can hint at who these celebrities might be.

Facebook vs YouTube

Facebook's forthcoming slate of original programming will inevitably compete against YouTube, which also announced on Thursday, May 4, that it would bankroll original shows starring A-listers the likes of Ellen DeGeneres, Kevin Hart, and Katy Perry. Anyone will be able to watch the said shows since they will be supported by ads.

Facebook also plans to eventually transition into a revenue-sharing model for its original programming via mid-roll ads, which are ads that appear in the middle of a video. The company will initially secure rights for shows and plans to recoup costs later on when it introduces the said type of ads.

While it seems Facebook's original programming plan is in full gear, there is still a spate of questions that loom. The site is predominantly a social media platform, and its plan to effectively present itself as a dedicated video-streaming platform is still doubtful. For many, the transition might be jarring, and the sudden flood of original content on one's newsfeed, though in short-form, might be a little overwhelming.

Time, however, will tell. Expect due coverage when we learn more.

Does a VR dating show sound exciting to you? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!

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