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Is TV The Next Frontier for Social Media Platforms?


Have you spent a long time finding a new Netflix show only to start scrolling on your phone two minutes in? Social media is overtaking the entertainment industry in various ways. With platforms like Facebook Watch, YouTube TV and IGTV, social media is slowly starting to become a lot like cable. These companies want people’s attention and it only makes sense with so many streaming services coming out, that TV is the next frontier for social media. Here’s a look at a few video-based services stemming from the most popular social media platforms. 

Facebook Watch

In 2017, Facebook Watch launched in the U.S., just a few months after YouTube TV. Facebook had prepared a multi-million dollar budget for content production and later partnered with popular news programs like BuzzFeed and Vox to rope in viewers. Unlike YouTube TV, all content is free for users, they just have to sit through the ads. 

Variety reported that less than two years since its U.S. debut, Facebook Watch has amassed a global daily user base of 140 million, who spend an average of 26 minutes per day watching video. The growth most likely won’t stop here since Facebook itself has over 2 billion active users and with original shows led by A-list celebrities like Jada Smith’s Red Table Talk and Elizabeth Olsen’s Sorry For Your Loss, fans are hooked and ready for more. 

YouTube TV

CNBC, MLB, CNN, BBC, NFL — YouTube TV has it all and more. It closely resembles Hulu + Live TV in terms of offering a ton of content from multiple cable networks, but it comes with unlimited cloud DVR storage at a $65 price tag. The price is pretty reasonable and even cheaper when compared to cable options like Xfinity. Currently, YouTube TV has 2 million users with 85+ channels so there’s no doubt that what started as a social media platform, has now developed into the modern day cable TV.

Surprisingly, there’s no original content offered with YouTube TV. You can find plenty of user-generated content on YouTube itself, but the original shows and movies are offered through YouTube Premium. However, the company recently announced that it’s canceling the majority of its original content production to stick to an ad-based business model. It seems like acting as a medium for cable networks works better than trying to beat out a Netflix-type production. 


IGTV sought to become the next YouTube, allowing users to upload up to 60-minute videos, however its popularity didn’t stick as it hoped. Up until summer of 2019, it only allowed users to upload IGTVs in portrait mode to stick to Instagram’s vertical aesthetic which didn’t help its initial launch either. IGTV is great for influencers to post vlogs about their day or for companies to post tutorials, live-streamed events, etc. But it certainly hasn’t become the go-to whenever someone wants to watch videos for entertainment. Instagram also launched Reels to compete with the viral success of TikTok, but as you might have guessed, TikTok is pretty irreplaceable. 

Instagram itself underwent a few changes recently that many users are not happy about. Starting off with their current algorithm, small creators and even big influencers feel erased from people’s feed and never get the engagement they once received from a chronological feed. Instagram also replaced the tab for likes/mentions with a shopping tab which makes average users and content creators feel that the app isn’t for them anymore, but more so, a place to shop and promote products. 

Video-based platforms will continue to dominate the entertainment space especially with platforms like Twitch and TikTok that, combined, have over a billion active users. It seems like the traditional way of watching TV is vanishing more and more as different apps and services are dominating our attention. If you need help navigating the ever-changing world of social media, let us know, and we’ll be happy to put together a winning strategy for you. 

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