Facebook and Instagram’s parent company has a plan to take over a new segment.
In 2017, both Facebook and Instagram came up with their answer to ByteDance’s wildly popular new short-form platform TikTok, which was released the year before. Facebook introduced Stories, while Instagram introduced Reels.
Meta isn’t the only internet platform to evolve thanks to TikTok. Alphabet’s (GOOGL) – Get Alphabet Inc. Report video platform YouTube has now made space for short-form videos filmed on camera phones, which it calls YouTube Shorts. Even Google’s search engine service is making shifts to fold TikTok-esque content into its search results.
But Meta isn’t just eyeballing short-form content growth. The company has been experimenting with all kinds of different ways to expand the capabilities of its two major platforms.
Many of these explorations seem geared toward expanding what the company has dubbed “The Metaverse,” a concept that seems to aim toward the immersive experience of social media combined with some kind of virtual reality. However, the company announced major losses in the first quarter of 2022, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying he expected the project to continue to lose money for the next “three to five years.”
In the meantime, Meta needs something to sustain itself through that financial drain — and it may have found that road by copying a popular streaming service.
Meta Believes Reels Will Bring Big Profits
Meta’s most recent quarterly earnings call saw the company’s first revenue decline since going public. But despite the glum news, when asked about the current revenue of adding Reels, CFO of Facebook David Wehner forecasted their promise, saying that monetization is still very new for Reels but that the company believes the service will be a large source of revenue moving forward.
When it comes to which platform creators prefer, TikTok is likely to hold the throne as the most popular short-form media service. Why’s that, you ask? Because TikTok still has a vastly larger library of content and original music. Original music gives creators more background sound to use for content, and means more exposure for musicians who choose to use the service.
This, incidentally, is putting TikTok in a prime position in the race to unseat Spotify (SPOT) – Get Spotify Technology S.A. Report as the most popular music streaming service. And while TikTok chases Spotify’s audience, Meta has set its eyes on Amazon’s (AMZN) – Get Amazon.com Inc. Report popular streaming service Twitch.
Making Live-Streaming Services a Corner of the Metaverse
Twitch is a live-streaming site that has gained notoriety for hosting, among other things, live video game play. Viewers can follow and tune in to their favorite streamers’ channels, where users and creators can interact in a real time chat. The platform is also the host of various esports tournaments, which are lucrative for Twitch and players alike. These streamed events feature professional video gamers competing for viewer entertainment.
In 2014, Amazon purchased the streaming site for $970 million. The company was able to slip in and make an offer after a deal with Google reportedly fell through.
Now it looks like Meta is looking for its own alternative. According to Business Insider, the company has been quietly testing a Twitch-like site called Super, reportedly reaching out to influencers to begin testing the platform.
Super is built to function as a sister platform to Facebook and Instagram, but it appears that the site won’t focus on interactivity with the two services, presenting itself as a standalone product free of branding from its parent company.