Facebook just launched a rival to YouTube and live TV

The new 'Watch' tab went live to a limited number of users on Thursday.
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Facebook stepped up its quest for global media domination on Thursday by launching a video streaming section that's a mixture of YouTube, Twitter and traditional TV.

A limited number of Facebook users (at first) will have noticed a new tab called "Watch" on their Facebook page, which brings them to a part of the social media site that's dedicated to videos.

The possibilities for how Facebook will develop Watch are wide-ranging, but right now it's being seen as a major competitor to YouTube.

That's because much like YouTube, it's going to start allowing all professional content creators to create shows specifically for Facebook, whose users can follow and save for viewing at any time through the "Watchlist."

The Washington Post notes that right now, only certain people can make shows for Facebook after they go through an application process. In the future, it will be opened up so anyone can create their own shows.

Facebook launched 18 original shows alongside the creation of Watch, with a combination of mini-documentaries, reality shows and sports coverage.

You can find a list of the shows here, via TechCrunch.

Live sports also coming

But there's more, as Facebook is also incorporating elements of traditional TV. The service will feature shows that "air" at regular times live (which could include those with proper story arcs) and will also show one MLB game every week.

Additionally, it will allow comments on these videos to create social-viewing experiences similar to what Twitter has been doing with its live sports streaming.

You can expect to find trending videos in the mix too, directing you to videos that your friends are watching or finding funny/interesting etc., so you don't have to wait for them to appear in your newsfeed.

Video categories like "What's making people laugh," "Shows your friends are watching," and "What people are talking about" will be found in Watch.

ABC notes that Watch builds on Facebook's existing "Videos" section, which mainly shows a "random concoction of 'suggested' videos."

GoMN's Tip Jar column has a feature on the best online streaming platforms vs. cable subscriptions. You can compare them here.

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