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Week In Review: Facebook Goes All In On Their Video Tab; Netflix Does Downloads

1. Facebook Goes All In On Their Video Tab

It’s been rumored for many months now, but yesterday, without much fanfare, Facebook rolled out a video tab on its mobile app for many users, with the rest to follow shortly. The tab replaces the Messenger tab, which is now relegated to the upper left corner.

 Videos posted by friends are in the feed along with videos from brands and media outlets the user has “Liked.” There’s also a filmstrip menu up top where users can easily find videos from specific brands and publishers they’ve liked.

Why It Matters

Facebook has been making a major push for video this year, pumping millions into their live video product and promoting video throughout the site. But this may be their biggest step of all.

 That’s because users can cast their Facebook video to the big screen. So they can start watching on the small screen and then move things over to the main TV. Given how much time people spend on Facebook, it’s easy to see how someone could spend hours watching Facebook video… instead of TV.

 OTOH, right now all Facebook has to offer is short form video which is not as engaging or lean-back as long form. And time spent watching ad-free Facebook video on the TV is time spent away from Facebook’s advertisers. So there’s that.

 There’s all that data too— Facebook might not be serving up ads, but it’s collecting data on who is watching which video and for how long. Which may prove more valuable in the long run.

 We’ll be watching to see how the new video tab catches on and what people do with it.

What You Need To Do About It

 If you’re a brand, you need to make some videos for Facebook, pronto. Not commercials, but real branded content, something that can compete with everything else out there.

 If you’re a network, you’ll want to think about what clips and promos you could put up on Facebook to drive tune-in. And how to encourage your viewers to cast their video to the big screen so they get used to watching your shows there.

2. Netflix Does Downloads

 As a holiday season gift for loyal and patient viewers, Netflix is finally joining Amazon and giving viewers the ability to download their favorite shows. Well, most of them, anyway, and only on iOS and Android devices, but Netflix promises to expand that list shortly. And since “The Crown” is available for download, that’s all we really care about, anyway.

 Why It Matters

There aren’t a huge number of use cases for downloading—planes, trains and automobiles, for the most part, but the fact that Netflix is finally allowing it means that their aaarrghhaphobia (fear of pirates) has eased up. It’s an acknowledgement that there’s not a whole lot you can do to combat piracy, that when prices are fair and access is simple people would rather pay for things, and that in an age of plenty, there’s not much need to own anything anymore, anyway.

 What You Need To Do About It

If you’re a content owner, make sure your content is available for download. And if you’re a consumer, think about making your next phone a 32GB one and then download what you can on your current 16GB model for your next plane trip.