It’s easy for new Facebook features to pass you by, but Facebook Watch is one of the most important changes we’ve seen for video content within the platform.

Facebook Watch is a video on demand service which is a move to compete against the likes of YouTube, Netflix and Amazon. The service will allow users to watch video content from outside of their networks  making it far easier to engage with content created by artists, brands, sports stars and publishers.

The service rolled out last year in the US as a new home for all Facebook video content, and is expected to launch in the UK in coming months. Publishers including Refinery 29, Hearst and Mashable were the first to launch Shows on Facebook Watch.

Watch features personalised recommendations of live and recorded shows to watch, plus categories like “Most Talked About,” “What’s Making People Laugh” and “Shows Your Friends Are Watching.”

A Watchlist feature will allow users to subscribe to updates on new episodes of favourite shows. Fans can connect with each other and creators through a new feature that links shows to Groups.

By hosting original programming, Facebook could boost ad revenue and give people a reason to frequently return to the News Feed for content they can’t get anywhere else.

Facebook has said that some of the content would be from “professional creators”, meanwhile others created by “regular people in our community”. Partners are said to earn 55 percent of ad break revenue while Facebook keeps 45 percent.

However, the monetization side is still developing in the US. There is some useful information here from video content can currently be monetized on Facebook, including ad breaks and pre-roll.

Users with access will see a TV-shaped Watch button in the bottom navigation bar of Facebook’s main app that opens the new video hub.

“As people are watching more and more video on Facebook, they want a place they can go to reliably and dependably watch video,” said Daniel Danker, director of product at Facebook. “A year ago, we launched the video tab, which did that, but it did not necessarily make it easy for people to keep up with the creators they know.”

Facebook will be looking for users to spend more time watching and discovering video, and also higher quality content being created by everyday people. On that note, we’ve just announced a new Facebook Live video in our Facebook Group, covering top social media trends in 2018. Sign up here.

Keep an eye out for this coming soon in the UK.

For more information, see Facebook’s newsroom here.