Facebook has launched a new feature that allows users to stream videos on Apple TV, other AirPlay devices, Google Chromecast and other Google Cast devices.
With the added support for Apple TV and Chromecast, Facebook might be able to generate increased advertising revenue from videos uploaded to the social network, as users could be watching videos more if they can do so through the better quality provided by TV screens as opposed to the displays of mobile devices.
In the blog post announcing the feature, Facebook product director Brent Ayrey wrote that casting Facebook videos to Apple TV and Chromecast is now available from an iOS device or from an internet browser.
To watch a Facebook video on the TV, users will simply have to first load up the video that they want to cast in their mobile device or desktop computer. Afterward, they will then have to press the TV symbol located in the top right corner of the video.
After doing so, users will be presented with a list of devices that they can stream the video to. Selecting the appropriate one will then cast the video to the Apple TV or Chromecast device on the user's TV.
While the Facebook video is playing on the TV, users will not be limited on what they can do on the social network. After the video stream starts playing, users can then go on to browse through their News Feed on their mobile device or desktop computer without interrupting the video being cast on the TV.
In addition, if the video that users cast on the TV is a Facebook Live video, the real-time comments and reactions will also be seen on the screen, with users able to join the conversation themselves through their own comments and reactions on the social network.
Ayrey wrote that a similar feature for Android devices to cast Facebook videos to Google Chromecast is coming soon, but no definite timeline was given for the rollout of the functionality.
The launch of the feature for Facebook ensures that it will not fall much behind its competitors, as Periscope and YouTube already offer the feature to stream videos to TVs. YouTube currently allows users to queue up videos for watching on the TV, which is something that might also come to Facebook in the near future.
Another new feature recently announced by Facebook to challenge competitors is Marketplace, which is a service that looks to make it easier for users to engage one another in transactions within their local communities. Marketplace will go up against online commerce channels such as eBay and Craigslist.