As video surges, Facebook eyes a dedicated service

A video page or app could appear this year, CEO says, as company reports quarterly revenue of $5.8B

facebook stock headquarters building

Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California, on Oct. 29, 2015.

Credit: Martyn Williams

Facebook is considering a dedicated service or page where users will be able watch videos and not be bothered by other content.

The social network continues to see surging interest in video. During one day last quarter, its users watched a combined 100 million hours of video. Roughly 500 million users watch at least some video each day.

That's a lot of video and a lot of viewers, and Facebook wants to capitalize on it.

"We are exploring a dedicated place on Facebook for when they just want to watch videos," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday during a conference call to discuss Facebook's quarterly financial results.

But he was tight-lipped on how the video might actually be presented.

Asked if a stand-alone video app is in the cards, he mentioned the success of Messenger and a Facebook app for managing Pages. "I do think there are additional opportunities for this and we’ll continue looking at them," he said.

Facebook wants to encourage more video viewing because it keeps users on the site longer, helping it to sell more ads.

"Marketers also really love video and it’s a compelling way to reach consumers," COO Sheryl Sandberg said during the call.

Zuckerberg has been watching the growth of video for osme time. At a town hall meeting in November 2014, he predicted, "In five years, most of [Facebook] will be video."

And it's likely that most of that video will be consumed over mobile networks.

Among Facebook's heaviest users -- the billion people who access it on a daily basis -- 90 percent use a mobile device, either solely or in addition to their PC. 

It's financial results for the fourth quarter were strong. Revenue was $5.8 billion, up 52 percent from the same period in 2014, while net profit more than doubled to $1.6 billion.

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