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Facebook sees high-quality, scripted video as an important feature to retain users, particularly a younger demographic that is increasingly flocking to rival Snapchat, as well as a means to rake in brand advertising dollars traditionally reserved for traditional TV.
A concern among partners is that Facebook executives have yet to explain why people would seek out longer shows in the Facebook app's video tab.
Facebook has tapped A-list celebrities to star in some of the shows, according to multiple people briefed on the plans.
One agency has already attached an A-list Hollywood star to a show, according to a person familiar with the talks.
The short video clips that autoplay in Facebook's News Feed have been a success for most publishers, but there's no guarantee that consumers will begin to think of Facebook as a destination for watching longer-form shows. The effort to snag exclusive shows is being led by College Humor cofounder Ricky Van Veen, whom Facebook hired in December to be its global creative strategy chief.
His small team has been meeting with production companies and hearing pitches for episodic shows five to 30 minutes long that would live in a revamped version of Facebook's video tab.