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Facebook Isn’t Taking on TV and Movies… Yet

Mark Zuckerberg says social network will focus on short-form video for now

More than one billion people around the world visit Facebook every day, but the internet behemoth isn’t planning on being the home for narrative long-form video. At least, not yet.

On a conference call with analysts after Facebook reported blowout fourth-quarter earnings, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that while the social network is certainly focusing on making video a central part of the experience, that won’t include full-fledged narrative filmmaking for the time being.

“We’re focusing more on shorter-form content to start,” Zuckerberg said, pointing at examples such as informal social videos to be shared amongst friends and commercial branded videos.

Zuckerberg said that longer-form, “premium” video content relies on a class of creators with different expectations, and Facebook is still devising a business model that works. He added that as more video inventory is uploaded to Facebook, creators will experiment with longer-form projects.

“There’s also a whole class of premium content that creators need to get paid a good amount in order to create that content and we need to support that through a business model with advertising,” Zuckerberg said.

On the call, Zuckerberg also weighed in on Facebook’s “fake news” controversy, which saw the social network take some heat for the misinformation that proliferated on the site — and sometimes even trended — during a contentious election year.

“We’re also focused on being a more informed community,” he said. “We don’t write the news that you read but we want to be a place where people can access the information and have meaningful conversations. This is something we take very seriously.”

Zuckerberg highlighted Facebook’s recent fact-checking initiative as one way to improve the quality of news shared on the social network.

“We’ve made it easier to report and identify misinformation and were working to build stronger ties between Facebook and the news media,” said the CEO. “If we can make Facebook more informed, that’s going to make our community stronger.”