Facebook unveils a standalone app to bring videos to your TV

Not being satisfied with its presence on your phone, watch, laptop, and tablet, social media giant Facebook will soon be coming to your TV.

The company announced yesterday it will be releasing a standalone Facebook TV app designed to be integrated with smart TV streaming services such as Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. More platforms will be supported soon, the company says.

Read more: Facebook recommendations feature puts local business in the spotlight

Labelling the product “a new way to enjoy Facebook videos on a bigger screen”, the app will allow Facebook users to watch videos from business’ pages and the users’ friends pages, and will also suggest videos based on your interests.

The app will also allow users to tune into the top live videos from all over the world.

This announcement comes in the wake of some challenges around video for Mark Zuckerberg’s social media company, after last year it was found metrics related to video advertisements were being overestimated by factors of up to 80%. This has lead to some loss of confidence from advertisers, and recently Facebook agreed to independent metrics auditing.

Along with the Facebook TV reveal, the company detailed a number of changes to how videos will behave when viewed in the Facebook app.

Now users with autoplay videos enabled will automatically hear sound from videos that play while scrolling through the news feed. Previously, videos played without sound and users would tap the video to begin listening.

Making sound compulsory for videos is a choice that may put Facebook in the bad books of a number of its users, especially considering Digiday reports 85% of Facebook videos are played without sound.

The move has already proven unpopular with a number of Twitter users.

Other changes to Facebook video include better support for vertical videos, as well as a way for users to watch videos picture-in-picture while still looking through their news feed. These changes, along with the Facebook TV app, will roll out to users within the next few days.

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