Facebook, are you ok? Because you're not making sense right now. After everything that's happened in 2018, Facebook has a new idea to win our hearts, minds and money...it can be where we all pay to watch Game of Thrones on. You love some Game of Thrones, right?
According to Recode's industry sources, Facebook is in talks with TV titans such as HBO, Starz and Showtime to sell their streaming products on its platform, presumably via Facebook Watch. These discussions have been going on for months with a goal of launching this product on early 2019.
This will be the first time Facebook is offering paid content to its users rather than relying on advertising to monetize the mass of Facebook members. But the social network already runs ads for HBO and co. on its pages. The logic here is that, instead of the user click taking them to further external steps, why not make the advertised content immediately accessible in Facebook? Convenience leads to more conversions, and of course, Facebook takes its cut.
Rivals like Amazon already offer a similar service, so while Facebook naturally doesn't want to be left behind, the timing seems very awkward given the place the social network is in right now with the public.
Not a good time to ask for money, Facebook
It's been a rough year for the social network, rocked by privacy scandals, hauled before Congress, under the spotlight for enabling ethnic persecution and most recently, using the shadiest mud-slinging PR tactics and lying about it. At the same time, it's faced backlash not just from users, but from the vassal companies of the Facebook empire, with the now departed founders of WhatsApp and Instagram criticizing the company's direction.
But Facebook presses on. When so many users are concerned about how the social network giant handles their privacy, it launches Portal, a smart home device. Now, despite more awareness than ever about the negative effects of heavy social media use, it wants us to pay to watch premium TV right without even leaving the social network. Not to mention the possibility of Facebook trying to secure exclusive content for its platform.
I don't know about you, but this seems like a bad move from the blue empire. Do you see yourself paying to watch TV shows though Facebook in 2019? What could they offer to convince you?