While not in any way surprising, it looks as though Facebook is poised to fire another shot at YouTube with which it has been increasingly competing for video-viewing eyeballs and advertisers who want to spend money reaching them.
As you may know, both Facebook and YouTube have recently begun supporting 360-degree videos. Facebook is poised to take its offering a step further by doing so in a standalone app. A report from the Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, says:
As conceived, the app would work on many platforms including Apple Inc.’s devices and those using Google Inc.’s Android operating system. Development of the app is in early stages and it is unclear when or if the app will launch, said the people, who declined to be named discussing the confidential project.
The move should result in the two companies competing more heavily both in the virtual reality space (where Facebook has Oculus and Google has Cardboard), but also more directly in the video space. A standalone video app from Facebook could essentially take YouTube on in video viewing extending far past the virtual reality niche.
Facebook is already gaining ground on Google, and YouTube in particular, when it comes to reach of mobile apps. Messenger, another standalone Facebook app, recently surpassed YouTube in that department.
Facebook says it currently sees 4 billion video views daily. The company isn't commenting on plans for a standalone video app.
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