Facebook confirmed today that it is rolling out dedicated Facebook video applications for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Samsung smart TVs.
The move comes after Facebook added the ability to cast videos to larger screens via connected streaming boxes last year. That function is native to a handful of streaming devices and Facebook is promising to bring similar apps to other platforms soon.
“With the app, you can watch videos shared by friends or Pages you follow, top live videos from around the world, and recommended videos based on your interests. You can also catch up on videos you’ve saved to watch later, as well as revisit videos you’ve watched, shared or uploaded. We look forward to seeing how people use the app to enjoy Facebook videos in a new way,” wrote Facebook in a blog post.
The news from Facebook confirmed a report from earlier this month that the social network—increasingly a destination for video consumption—intended to launch an app for Apple TV.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the app is part of an overarching strategy to change Facebook into a video-first company in an effort to snag more ad dollars away from traditional TV.
The report said that Facebook has had a streaming device app on the drawing board for years, but last year accelerated the process to coincide with the company’s more urgent video plans.
In addition to the incoming streaming TV apps, Facebook announced other new video features for its platform today. Videos appearing in the news feed will now feature sound automatically that will fade in and out as users scroll through, instead of having to click on videos to activate sound.
For users who wish to watch videos and continue scrolling through the newsfeed, Facebook will allow for a minimized picture-in-picture view of a video.
The company also said it is making changes to make vertical videos look better on mobile devices.
“Last year we began testing a larger preview of vertical videos in News Feed on mobile. People responded positively, so that larger format is now available to everyone watching videos on iOS and Android,” the company wrote.