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Facebook (FB) Launches New TV App for Apple TV & Others

Zacks

Social media giant, Facebook Inc. FB has unveiled a new TV app to enhance the video viewing experience. The app will be initially available on app stores on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TV and will be rolled out to other platforms gradually.

In a blog post, Facebook said that the app will enable users to “watch videos shared by friends or Pages you follow, top live videos from around the world, and recommended videos based on your interests.” Currently, Facebook enables users to stream videos on their TVs from their Facebook page.

Facebook, Inc. Price

Facebook, Inc. Price | Facebook, Inc. Quote


Further in the post, Facebook said that going forward, mobile users will be able to hear sound automatically in their news feed. Earlier, one had to tap on the video to listen but with the new feed, there is no need for that. Users can choose to “disable” the feature by switching off “Videos in News Feed Start With Sound” in Settings. Also, Facebook has improved vertical video experiencing on mobile phones by incorporating a “larger format.” The company also introduced a picture-in-picture view that will help users to watch videos and scroll at the same time.

As video ads generate more revenues than its photo and text-based substitutes, Facebook and a host of several others social media sites like Twitter TWTR) and Snapchat are trying to incorporate more and more video oriented content to bring in more ad dollars. Ad revenues contribute over 90% to Facebook’s total revenue. Per media reports, Facebook is looking to grab a share of the reportedly $70 billon brand advertising that is allocated to linear TV by increasing video content on its platform. At its last earnings call, Facebook said that video emerged as a “megatrend” on the same lines like mobile.

However, Facebook is yet to work out an ad model for live video. Given CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s aversion to pre roll ads, Facebook is reportedly testing a new ad platform – mid roll format – whereby publishers will be able to put in ads in a video (which has a minimum duration of 90 seconds) after a user has played it for 20 seconds or more. Reports add that Facebook will share revenues with publishers in a 45:55 ratio, similar to that of Alphabet’s GOOGL YouTube.

At present, Facebook has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Moreover, we note that Facebook has outperformed the Zacks categorized Internet Services industry in the last one year. The company’s shares increased 31.21% compared with the industry’s gain of 18.26%.

Key Pick

A better-ranked stock in the wider technology space is MeetMe Inc MEET, which carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.

In the trailing four quarters, MeetMe recorded a positive average earnings surprise of 36.07%.

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