Facebook is scouting Hollywood producers as it prepares a foray into TV.
That’s just to start. Facebook has been taking pitches for short, five- to 10-minute web series that could be replenished every 24 hours or so, like on rival Snapchat, as well as for longer, bigger-budget series that could run for up to 30 minutes, BI reported.
One of the green-lit series is reportedly a dating show from Conde Nast Entertainment where participants meet in virtual reality before going on real-life dates. Other shows will feature top-tier celebrities, which Facebook has courted for video pushes like Facebook Live in the past.
It’s unclear from the job postings exactly what content filmmakers will be tasked with developing. Facebook staked its living-room claim in March with video apps for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Samsung Smart TV, which could open the door for longer-form viewing—possibly even features. But programming under 30 minutes is a more attainable jumping-off point. The social network’s 1.28 billion daily active users aren’t accustomed to watching for more than a few minutes, and Facebook has enough competition in Snapchat and YouTube without going up against Netflix and traditional TV at the outset.
One job listing describes Facebook’s forthcoming programming as “motion-picture content,” which is medium-ambivalent. That old-fashioned term for movies has been making a comeback now that series and films are increasingly screen-agnostic. Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul creator Vince Gilligan uses it to encompass both mediums.
It’s not unusual for Hollywood filmmakers to pivot to TV either. Movie stars like Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Ewan McGregor, and Tom Hardy have joined serials on cable networks like FX and streaming services like Netflix. Filmmakers like Martin Scorsese and Ridley Scott have followed suit. Some, like director David Lynch, who’s currently reviving the 1989 series Twin Peaks for Netflix, gave up on movies altogether.
“The middle-class of film has not had as active a voice as it had in the past and that may be because it is flourishing on TV,” American Gods showrunner Bryan Fuller told Quartz, referring to shows like Game of Thrones, The Leftovers, and Fargo. “There’s so much good storytelling on TV.”
And, soon, maybe on Facebook.