Last night I went on Facebook, clicked to the "Dark Knight" fan page, and a few seconds and $3 worth of Facebook credits later I was watching the film, crisp and clear on my laptop.
It was easy, and inherently social — I could share the experience with my friends or follow their suggestions to immediately watch the film.
This is a watershed moment for the movie studios as well as Facebook — it cuts outs companies like Netflix and Amazon and makes Facebook a new rising force in content distribution.
Warner Brothers is the first studio to rent streaming movies through Facebook. The company rolled out the test last night and here's how it works: Facebook users who say they like "The Dark Knight" can click to rent the title. For 30 Facebook credits or $3 they can start streaming the movie immediately, with access to it for 48 hours. This is just a test — only available to US Facebook users, and limited to "The Dark Knight," but within months the studio will add more titles, and it plans to *sell* digital versions of films through Facebook, presumably at a higher price point, in the "near future."