Facebook is testing several new features for videos on the social network as the company looks to step up the competition against rival Alphabet and its YouTube video-sharing service.
Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg, along with the company's other executives, have previously said that they see videos as the future. It was earlier revealed that Facebook users are watching 3 billion videos daily, and with these new features, that number could still significantly increase.
The series of new features, which include a dedicated Video Feed and a picture-in-picture video player, looks to provide users with more flexibility in watching videos, according to Facebook VP of product management Will Cathcart. The goal is to increase the engagement of Facebook users with videos posted on the social network.
The company is still in the early stages of testing the Video Feed, which will be a dedicated section to videos within the app and the website. The Video Feed will ideally assist uses in discovering, watching and sharing videos that they enjoy or find to be helpful.
The Video Feed, which will be the most prominent within the Facebook app, can also be accessed on the website through the Favorites section. Being in the early stages of testing, most users will likely not be able to see the new feature; however, Facebook would most probably be expanding the testing to more users over the coming few weeks and months.
In testing, the Messenger button in the app will be replaced by the Videos button. The final version of the feature will most likely be not as prominent though.
Another new feature being tested is a picture-in-picture player for videos, which would allow users to keep watching videos while they continue to scroll through the News Feed or access other parts of the app. This feature is similar to what YouTube is offering for its own app.
Facebook has also been testing a feature for suggested videos, which automatically shows related videos after users watch one through their News Feeds. The feature, which also includes advertisements, is already in place for most Facebook users on iPhones, according to Facebook, with the feature to be rolled out to the Android version of the app and the website soon.