Facebook Wants Exclusive Video from Publishers, Updates Messenger App to Take on Snapchat

/ Mar 25, 2015

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Facebook seems to be taking on Snapchat — in addition to YouTube — with its latest moves towards both new content partnerships and an updated messaging platform.

Facebook is in talks with major publishers like Vice about getting their short-form content on the site, as first reported by The Information. The company is also working to expand its instant messaging service, Messenger, into a platform all its own, which will feature different types of media content from partners such as ESPN and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions.

The media companies Facebook’s reportedly partnering with for exclusive content other than Vice so far include The Onion and Vox Media. The initiative, which currently goes by the name “Anthology,” is aimed at getting more premium (read: advertiser-friendly) content posted and distributed through Facebook. Facebook will offer more information on “Anthology” during this April’s NewFronts in New York, said the report.

Meanwhile, at its annual F8 developer conference, Facebook announced that it’s updating its Messenger app to allow users to send multiple types of media content, including video, to their friends. In this way, the social network seems primed to take on Snapchat, which recently launched Snapchat Discover to bring more professional content to its users. The new Messenger will launch with nearly 50 content partners, including ESPN, which will showcase daily sports highlights.

Video is increasingly playing a vital role in Facebook’s media business. Part of the company’s “Anthology” pitch is the ability to run ads against this professionally-produced content, which would ostensibly command higher rates.

As of now, Facebook is home to exclusive video content from the likes of the NFL, Fox Sports Digital, The Young Turks, and MSNBC/NowThis News, among others.

*This story has been updated from its original version.

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