Facebook will soon be available on the Apple TV for the first time, the social network confirmed today. As rumored, the upcoming Apple TV app will focus on video playback with personalization features and launch soon.
Facebook’s video app was first reported as in development earlier this month, and Facebook made the news official today in a blog post outlining upcoming video features.
Our video app for TV is a new way to enjoy Facebook videos on a bigger screen. […] 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.
Facebook previously relied on promoting AirPlay from the iOS app as the best way to watch videos on the service using Apple TV. The new Facebook app on Apple TV will offer a standalone method for watching videos on the big screen. Facebook says its new video player will “roll out soon” on Apple TV as well as other platforms including Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TV.
Included in Facebook’s other video-focused news is auto-play sound on videos which is coming to everyone shortly. The feature sounds like it could be a pain, but Facebook does outline how to disable the new default when it rolls out:
If your phone is set to silent, videos will not play with sound. If you never want videos to play with sound, you can disable this feature by switching off “Videos in News Feed Start With Sound” in Settings. We’ll also be showing in-product messages to tell people about the new sound on experience and controls.
Improved vertical video playback is also coming as well as picture-in-picture playback within the Facebook app. Facebook says Android users will be able to experience PIP even when Facebook is closed, but the announcement does not mention iPad support where iOS also supports PIP.