Facebook is indeed building a video app for television, the company said today. Confirming a Wall Street Journal report from two weeks ago, Facebook said the app would initially be available for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Samsung smart televisions, with additional platforms to follow. “Our video app for TV is a new way to enjoy Facebook videos on a bigger screen,” the company said in a blog post. “With the app, you can watch videos shared by friends or Pages you follow, top live videos from around the world, and recommended videos based on your interests.”
You’ll also be able to save videos on your mobile device and them watch them on TV later, as well as re-watch any videos you’ve uploaded to Facebook yourself. Facebook did not give a timetable for the release, other than to say it’s rolling out “soon.” The company did not share any images of what the app looks like. But you will need a Facebook account to view videos on the app, it said.
Some things Facebook does because users demand them; others it does strategically so as to hoover up billions of dollars in advertising revenue. This move falls into the latter category — Mark Zuckerberg is hell-bent on transforming Facebook into a video destination, and being a video destination means being everywhere people watch video. In that context, a Facebook TV app may not sound very exciting — but in Facebook’s eyes, it’s necessary.