Facebook's big push into original video is taking longer than expected.
The social network's plans to release a slate of made-for-Facebook original video shows has been pushed back and may not arrive until the end of summer, according to multiple sources.
Facebook has been in talks with video publishers for months to create these TV-style videos, which will live in a redesigned video tab inside the app. The company initially wanted to have them done by April, and then pushed that rollout to mid-June with the hope of unveiling those shows — or at least some of them — when the media world descends upon the south of France for the Cannes Lions advertising conference next month.
Now the rollout has been pushed back again, and we likely won't see Facebook's TV efforts until late July or early August, according to multiple sources. It's also possible that it could take longer.
A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment.
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It's not entirely clear what is causing the delay, and Facebook is not sharing any specific reasons with partners, though numerous sources believe the delays are product-related. That is, Facebook is still building this video feature into the app and website.
One challenge, for example, is figuring out where these shows will live outside of the video tab. Will they simply have their own Page? Or will they be housed as part of a publisher's Page? Facebook is working through all of that.
Facebook has not been shy about its interest in TV-caliber video. Facebook executive and College Humor co-founder Ricky Van Veen has been out talking to publishers about acquiring video rights and scripts since late last year, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has talked about the company's plans on Facebook's earnings calls.
The hope is that having this type of highly produced content will make Facebook a video destination in the same way that Netflix and YouTube are video destinations.
"That's a pretty different intent than why people come to Facebook today," CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained back in February. "The experience is designed to deliver on that promise — [that] you want to watch videos, you want to keep up with the content that you watch episodically week over week. This is going to be the place where you go to do that."
—By Kurt Wagner and Peter Kafka, Re/code.net.
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