How to Watch Facebook Video on Your Apple TV

Why and How to use Facebook on Apple TV

Watching Lives
Facebook Just Gave You A Window To The Workd. Hoxton/Paul Bradbury Getty Images

Like many social networks, Facebook wants to play a useful part in your video sharing life. To make sure it does, it recently introduced a new iOS device feature that lets you stream videos from Facebook to your Apple TV, or other AirPlay-enabled devices, through an interface that may feel familiar to any YouTube user. All you need is the Facebook app on an iOS device, and your Apple TV. To be clear, no additional app is needed on your Apple TV at all.

Watch and Explore

The great thing about Facebook’s implementation is you can continue to explore elsewhere on the network while watching the video from Facebook. This means you can continue to explore your News Feed on your device, and also look for new things to watch in your Saved Tabs and elsewhere.

You will be able to read any incoming comments and look at real-time reactions when playing back/streaming Facebook Live content. Not only this but if you do want to react or make a statement of your own, you can do so on your device, even while video playback takes place.

The new feature brings Facebook into line with YouTube, which has supported Apple TV to the extent of offering a dedicated video app since day one. Some estimates claim around one-third of people on the Internet use YouTube, and Facebook wants a little of this huge population.

Why Video Matters so Much

The social network’s interest in video streaming came in for recent criticism when the company revealed it had been inflating its video viewing metrics to advertisers (Company CEO, Mark Zuckerberg last year claimed his service is already generating 8 billion video views per day). This has obviously prompted the firm to put a little effort into ramping up its video viewing engagements.

What’s also interesting about Facebook’s new video streaming talent is that this sets the company up for further exploration of 3D and 360-degree video.

The network earlier on this year worked with Jimmy Kimmel to post a 360-degree video of his opening monolog at this year’s Emmy Awards. Facebook also offered behind the scenes clips and other added content, all of which could be viewed with a compatible VR headset.

Why is Facebook focused on video?

Social video has grown dramatically in the last year. Cisco claims that by 2019 video will account for around 80 percent of global Internet traffic with nearly a million minutes of video share every second of the day.

Facebook’s entire business is based on engagement and in order to remain relevant in this heavily video-focused future it needs to ensure it provides a route to the kind of video experiences people are looking for.

The decision to enable video playback on an Apple TV from an iOS device should help the company maintain user interest. This could be critical, given the company’s claim that the amount of video posted to the service has increased 3.6 times year-on-year.

How to Watch Facebook Video on Apple TV

To watch a Facebook video on your Apple TV you must follow these easy steps:

  • While on your iPhone, iPad or Mac, find a video you would like to watch
  • Press the TV symbol that can be found in the top right corner of the video window
  • Select the device you want the video to stream to, the Apple TV

Alternatively, you can use AirPlay to beam directly from your device, in which case you must:

  • Find the video you want to watch, tap play and switch to full screen on your device
  • Swipe up on the iOS display to invoke Control Center
  • Tap AirPlay Mirroring and choose your Apple TV in the device menu that appears

While using the AirPlay method, you will be able to watch Facebook video on your Apple TV, though without the additional features, not least the ability to explore your News Feed on the same device as that playing the video.