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Facebook mounts a major challenge to Google’s YouTube

Silicon Valley social media giant Facebook Inc. has stepped up its efforts to steal away video creators from Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube division.

The company launched Facebook Creator, a platform seeking to turn video consumption into “time well spent” and offer social media influencers a means to foster communities around their content. The new Creator app provides video creators exclusive tools such as a Live Creative Kit for adding intros and outros to broadcasts, a unified inbox of Facebook and Instagram comments and Messenger chats, cross-posting to Twitter and a wide range of analytics.

“On Facebook, creators can connect with more than two billion potential fans and collaborators, get to know their community, talk directly to fans with Live, and monetize with products like branded content,” said Facebook’s video product manager Chris Hatfield in a blog post this past Thursday.

Facebook promised the Creator app in June last year as part of a larger focus on building out the company’s digital video service. Earlier this year, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg launched Watch, a streaming TV service, committing to spend up to $1 billion per year on original video programming as tech giants such as Netflix and Amazon compete to grab a share of the booming market.

At the same time, making video the focal point of Facebook’s future should work to drive engagement and thus advertising revenue on the platform as it competes with other social apps like Snapchat, which is struggling to maintain interest from marketers.

While Facebook grapples with growing regulatory scrutiny and a string of crises around data misuse on its platform, its ambitious growth plans have not slowed. The company’s revenue, which now tops $40 billion a year, has increased more than 30 percent every quarter since it went public in 2012.

The tech giant has acknowledged that growth will slow over the next few years. So siphoning some of the more than $60 billion in advertising money that’s now directed toward TV and bringing it to Watch has become a central goal.

BRIMMATECH KENYA

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