Facebook’s push into becoming a destination for original TV shows begins on Thursday with the launch of its redesigned video tab, Business Insider has learned.
The new tab will be called “Watch” and showcase a slew of shows slated to debut on August 28, people familiar with the matter said. Roughly 40 shows from a range of publishing partners and content studios will be included in the first slate of programming.
A Facebook representative wasn’t immediately available to comment.
The social network initially hoped to debut its redesigned video tab and show effort earlier this year, but the date has been moved back several times as more show partners have been brought on board. The August 28 debut could be pushed back as well, but content partners have been told their shows will debut on that date.
In typical Facebook fashion, only a small percentage of users will see the new Watch tab in the Facebook app immediately after it’s officially unveiled on Thursday. But Facebook plans to slowly make it available to everyone in the coming weeks.
Facebook has been willing to pay millions of dollars for exclusive rights to more premium, longer shows, while less expensive and shorter shows reportedly cost between $5,000 and $20,000. The cheaper shows are permitted to be shown outside of Facebook after they exclusively debut in the Watch tab.
Facebook sees high-quality, scripted video as an important feature to retain users, particularly a younger demographic that is increasingly flocking to rival Snapchat, as well as a means to rake in brand advertising dollars traditionally reserved for traditional TV.