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Facebook

Facebook is rolling out "Watch," a new platform for original and licensed TV-like programming on Facebook — available on mobile, desktop and in TV apps. Facebook will partner with digital websites, sports leagues and personalities to deliver live and scripted programming. (See what shows they're announcing below.)

The aesthetic of the new feature undoubtedly riffs off of rival Snapchat's successful mobile video platform, Discover, but here's how it's different:

  • More personalized: Facebook's platform will be organized by themes and personalized the same way the News Feed is personalized — around family, friends and interests, to help users discover new content.
  • More social engagement: It will allow for comments and reactions so users can engage with each other, and it will show you what your friends are watching
  • Accessible on TV: It will be accessible via a TV app and multi-device as opposed to Snapchat which is mobile-only.

Our thought bubble: From the TV/multi-device perspective, "Watch" seems like it could be more of a competitor to YouTube than perhaps anything else. It will include both long and short-form content and will feature a range of highly-produced to low-cost content.

Why it matters: Facebook is officially going after the TV market. It will offer users access to TV-like shows that they can watch on any screen, and it will allow Facebook to win over ad dollars typically spent on cable and broadcast. It's also another copycat feature that will likely slow Snapchat's user growth and audience engagement.

Shows:

  • Nas Daily will be a daily show where Nas makes videos together with his fans from around the world.
  • Gabby Bernstein, a New York Times bestselling author, and motivational speaker will use a combination of recorded and live episodes to connect with fans and answer questions in real time.
  • Tastemade's Kitchen Little that will feature a new child, a new chef, and a new recipe each episode.
  • League Baseball is broadcasting a live game weekly on Facebook.

A number of digital sites, like Quartz, Cheddar, Buzzfeed and The Atlantic, have also announced that they are going to be running video content on the platform. Here's what we know about their shows:

  • Quartz will be presenting several shows that follow compelling characters and groundbreaking science shaping the future of the global economy.
  • The Atlantic is creating two new video series for Facebook's Watch platform that will release this fall. They also expect to make other Atlantic Studios content -- like their regular series like You Are Here and Unpresidented, or longer documentaries -- available on Watch.
  • Cheddar announced that it will have a Show Page on Facebook's new Watch platform that will be rolled out to users in the coming weeks.

Go deeper

Biden's Day 1 challenges: Systemic racism

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Kirsty O'Connor (PA Images)/Getty Images

Advocates are pushing President-elect Biden to tackle systemic racism with a Day 1 agenda that includes ending the detention of migrant children and expanding DACA, announcing a Justice Department investigation of rogue police departments and returning some public lands to Indigenous tribes.

Why it matters: Biden has said the fight against systemic racism will be one of the top goals of his presidency — but the expectations may be so high that he won't be able to meet them.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
1 hour ago - Health

Most Americans are still vulnerable to the coronavirus

Adapted from Bajema, et al., 2020, "Estimated SARS-CoV-2 Seroprevalence in the US as of September 2020"; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

As of September, the vast majority of Americans did not have coronavirus antibodies, according to a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Why it matters: As the coronavirus spreads rapidly throughout most of the country, most people remain vulnerable to it.

Trump set to appear at Pennsylvania GOP hearing on voter fraud claims

President Trumpat the White House on Tuesday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump is due to join his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Wednesday at a Republican-led state Senate Majority Policy Committee hearing to discuss alleged election irregularities.

Why it matters: This would be his first trip outside of the DMV since Election Day and comes shortly after GSA ascertained the results, formally signing off on a transition to President-elect Biden.