San Francisco, Sep 9: Facebook is ready to shell out a whopping $1 billion to become a major hub for videos, a media report said on Saturday. The social media giant is willing to spend as much as $1 billion to cultivate original shows for its platform, according to people familiar with the matter. The figure, which could fluctuate based on the success of Facebook's' programming, covers potential spending through 2018, The Wall Street Journal report said. The figure is less than what the company's digital rivals such as Netflix invested. Netflix spent $6 billion in 2017 and Amazon shelled out $4.5 billion. The company has improved its strategy for video content, including cutting deals for digital TV shows. Earlier this month, Facebook rolled out "Watch" service -- a redesigned video platform for creators and publishers -- for every US citizen who uses the social media platform.
Facebook is offering a range of different options for discovering video content, including programmes and sections like "Today's Spotlight", "New This Week", "Popular Now", "What Friends Are Watching", "Most Talked About", "Suggested For You", and a special "10 Minutes Or More" spot for long-form videos. For now, Facebook is primarily highlighting reality shows, which partners are producing en masse since they are cheap, don't require set scripts and can be watched piecemeal, the report said. The social media giant debuted with Business Insider's lifestyle shows -- "The Great Cheese Hunt" and "It's Cool, But Does It Really Work?". News and issues publisher Attn premiered "We Need to Talk" and "Health Hacks" starring Jessica Alba last week. Meanwhile, food video giant Tastemade debuted with four shows, including "Safe Deposit", "Struggle Meals", "Food to Die For" and "Kitchen Little". In an apparent bid to take on Google-owned YouTube, Facebook rolled out "Watch" last month. The social media giant last year launched "Video" tab in the US which offered a predictable place to find videos on Facebook.