Facebook recently introduced a new feature to its iPhone app in an attempt to encourage you to use the social network as a video discovery tool. TechCrunch first spotted the new “related videos” carousel over the weekend and Facebook confirmed the update soon afterward, calling it a test.
The new video interface works a lot like YouTube, offering up a handful of related videos along the bottom of the screen while the one you’ve selected plays. Opening a video to fullscreen pulls up the carousel, which will stay in place until you physically close out and return to your News Feed. The design is pretty slick without going over the top, and it’s very easy to watch a handful of clips without giving it much thought.
All the suggested videos come from other people on Facebook, though not necessarily from someone you’re connected to. It’s possible the carousel could be used to push video ads in the future, though for now the company is treading lightly.
It’s also worth noting that the suggested videos Facebook offers up have all been uploaded to the site’s own video player. You won’t see any content from YouTube, Vimeo or Vine, which could potentially encourage more people to upload their own videos straight to the social network. At the very least it should cut down a bit on the traffic competing companies like Google and Twitter get off videos shared to Facebook.