Facebook: Coming to a TV near you?

October 16, 2018

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Facebook is rumored to be working on a connected TV device under the project name Ripley, reports Cheddar.com. The hardware, which includes a camera, is reported to work similar to Roku or Amazon’s Fire Stick, and could potentially stream video content sourced from Facebook Watch.

According to the report, device will include a camera and connect to a user’s television, turning the TV into a monitor for video calls as content streaming, including content sourced from Facebook’s video hub, Watch.

Why marketers should care

As Facebook gears up to launch the device — reportedly coming in Spring 2019 — marketers could soon have living room distribution for their Facebook video ad campaigns.

By entering the connected TV device market, Facebook is going up against a well-established line up of competitors — Apple, Google, Roku and Amazon to name a few. But, with its current ad-targeting capabilities, Facebook could prove to be a major player in the space if its able to secure the right programming and content.

Whether consumers will want such a device from Facebook is another question. Last week, Facebook announced the Portal devices for video chats that uses AI to react to callers’ movements, automatically zooming in and out on the callers while adjusting sound levels.

More on the news

  • Facebook has long had its sights set on original video programming. More than two years ago, it launched Watch, Facebook’s video portal designed to be a home for original programming. Since Watch’s inception, Facebook has continued to build out the platform for everyone from creators and advertisers to news organizations as well.
  • The device could enable Facebook to monitor what users are watching when they’re not scrolling through their Facebook feeds — and target ads accordingly.
  • Facebook declined to comment to Cheddar.com on the rumored project Ripley. Marketing Land also reached out to Facebook for comment on possible advertising opportunities via the connected TV device it was building, but has not received a response.

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