If Facebook's 2016 had to be summed up in one word, that word would probably be "video." The Menlo Park-based social media giant has been investing in all sorts of video initiatives in the last 12 months. From Facebook Live Video and various multimedia filters to Snapchat-inspired features and 360-degree content, the company was hard at work trying to push new visual products on all of its platforms. Given that strategy, it's not surprising that Facebook is reportedly also looking into paying for more exclusive video content after already landing some notable deals this June. According to a report from Recode, the company's new hire, Ricky Van Veen, is currently leading negotiations with various TV studios and independent producers over licensing existing shows and making new ones. Of course, Facebook is only interested in exclusive content which it could use to promote its growing video platform.
Van Veen was chosen to help in this transition due to his experience with both online and television video content. Namely, he's the founder of College Humor, a popular comedy website which eventually launched its own sitcom on MTV. As Van Veen told recode, Facebook's goal is to create a new ecosystem for video which it plans to promote with both scripted and unscripted original content. In other words, the social media giant is planning to kickstart this new platform with some high-quality shows and rely on users to provide additional video content to fuel its growth. So, it seems that Facebook is gradually stepping into the role of a content creator in an effort to fuel the growth of its new video platform. With that said, sources close to the company are claiming that while Facebook is indeed currently negotiating new deals, it's primarily interested in experimenting with various genres and formats, presumably to see what sticks before committing more resources to this video endeavor.
It remains to be seen how Facebook will proceed with this strategy seeing how the company is trying to avoid most traditional monetization methods like pre-roll ads, which consequently means content producers can rarely get the best return on investment by putting their stuff on Facebook. However, given Facebook's public announcement of this new push into video, there's no doubt that the social media giant has some big plans for the future.