Facebooks The Facebook Watch video destination introduces a new feature called "Your Topics" that lets you customize the feed to include more content that you want to see. Currently, Facebook is leveraging its existing understanding of each viewer's interests to personalize the watch feed. However, themes allow users to more explicitly tell Facebook what kind of things they like by exploring and subscribing to different categories of content.
The feature has been quietly introduced to Facebook users in the last few days, and now some of the users already have the feature in their own Facebook app.
One of the first to notice the new addition was Twitter user @whimchic, who regularly discovers updates and changes to mobile applications before they're released.
You were made aware of the feature via a popup in Watch on the Facebook mobile app. A message stated that Facebook will now focus on showing more videos on the #topics you follow.
"Because of the many different ways your watch feed is determined and how videos are categorized, your watch feed may show videos that you are not interested in," the message also warned. "Some videos about the #topics or pages you follow may not appear in your watch feed," it says.
If you have the feature, you can access it yourself by clicking the profile icon on the Facebook Watch tab on your phone and then clicking the link to “Your Topics” to browse the available categories.
The sub-categories that you actually follow or that you can't follow are grouped under broader category pages, such as: B. Animals, Art and Design, Books, Business, Education, Fashion and Style, Food, Games, History and Philosophy, Home and Garden, Music, Performing Arts, Science & Technology, Sports, Travel & Leisure, TV & Movies, and Transportation .
However, you cannot follow these high-level categories yourself. You have to click on it to follow each topic. These can be very specific. For example, in Animals you can follow #EndangeredSpecies or #GoldenRetrievers. Within Travel & Leisure you can follow #TravelOceania or #WinterActivities. And so on.
However, the lists of the subcategories are not complete. When testing the function in the Facebook app on my iPhone, a search for many other possible topics returned no results. (What, no #corgi videos ?!) Of course, this can change over time as the feature expands.
Once you follow a topic, a message will confirm your choice and the topic will appear under "Topics You Follow" in the "Your Topics" section of Facebook Watch.
From here, you can un-topic later if you want to see less of it in your feed. If you just want to watch videos on a specific topic, you can tap the topic to dive into a custom feed.
The feature is now one of several ways that users can personalize and filter their broader Facebook Watch feed.
You can also filter the feed by Live, Music, Episodes, Shows, Games and more by tapping the buttons at the top of the screen or under the “What's On Watch” category that appears when you look further down the Watch -Scroll feed.
Facebook is also adding groupings like the editorially curated “Get Caught Up” section with videos from paid partners or groupings that are more algorithmic, like the ones with videos that get the most “HaHa & # 39; s” or “Loves” this week have, or those that are popular with friends.
The new feature could make Facebook Watch more competitive against YouTube, where in the past there has been a greater focus on connecting users to individual channels to subscribe to. But YouTube has also dealt with issues in its own way. Broad categories such as "Gaming" and "Fashion & Beauty" are now part of the main navigation. Also, personalized topics are placed at the top of the homepage to direct logged-in users to categories of videos that they normally watch.
Of course, Twitter also has its own topic function that shows top tweets that correspond to a specific interest. However, these may or may not contain videos.
Reaching out for comment, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed the addition of topics, saying, "We're working on more ways to connect people with videos that match their interests." No further details were given.