Facebook and Twitter going to war with Netflix over TV streaming

Soon your social media feeds could be flooded with TV shows.

Facebook live video
Facebook Not everyone is always in on the joke Image Picture Creative Commons

Facebook and Twitter feeds are already flooded with lightning-fast viral videos, but the tech giants are about to take a step towards old-school TV programming.

The companies are both making plans to go into live TV streaming in a move that will not only pit them against each other, but also throw them into direct competition with Netflix and traditional broadcasters.

Where social media sites may have the edge over Netflix, however, is in the ability to broadcast live TV.

According to The New York Post, Mark Zuckerberg is looking to expand the YouTube-style Facebook Live platform and is negotiating with the NFL to pick up the rights to a Thursday Night Football digital package.

Alongside that, Facebook is in talks with TV executives about launching a channel bundle to its one billion-plus users through Facebook Live.

“Live video on Facebook is a different and complementary experience to conventional TV programming.”

The company described their new platform as “personal, social, real-time and authentic, and we’re just starting to understand its potential”.

A Facebook statement said: “To that end, we’re testing different ways to support partners so they begin experimenting with Facebook Live in a way that fits with our platform.

“We believe that live video on Facebook is a different and complementary experience to conventional TV programming.”

Zuckerberg has previously stated that he’s “obsessed” with live video and described it as “one of the things I’m most excited about”.

Twitter, meanwhile, launched its own video broadcasting service last year, Periscope. It allows users to post live videos directly in tweets and replay them for 24 hours.

It’s unclear if Twitter will use Periscope for live TV, but the company has reportedly been telling broadcasters they can “bring younger viewers to TV networks with the click of a button”.

Doubtless this will mean yet more remote controls for anyone who already owns Apple TV, Amazon Prime, Sky Q…

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Loaded digital media manager Simon Reynolds has written about film and entertainment for various leading websites since 2008. Follow Simon at @simonreyn

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