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Facebook launches new Apple TV Video app, trials new AI features for iOS app

It’s been a busy day for Facebook – the social network has just pushed out a brand new app for Apple’s fourth-generation TV box. Now available on the TV’s App Store, the new app is focused entirely on video uploaded to the world’s most popular social site.

The free app allows Facebook users to save video via the web, or their iOS app, and view it later on their TV. The app also showcases a series of videos that have been shared by people they follow, as well as brands and pages they’ve liked. It’ll also show some of the most popular Live videos currently being watched.

Previously: Facebook rolling out auto-playing videos (with sound) – here’s how to turn it off

Users will be able to find the app easily on the Apple TV – it’s currently featured in the App Store. Once downloaded, users simply sign in via their phone or a web page, and then they’re ready to watch.

The app itself is intuitive – there are a number of carousels, and while swiping through them, the video in the center will autoplay. If you want to keep watching or go full screen, simple press the remote and it’ll fill the TV screen.

Currently the app is very geared towards videos users might otherwise come across in their feed, rather than for video discovery. It’s difficult to say whether this will be a popular approach to users – more likely that some users will like this, and others won’t, so expect Facebook to continue to monitor and develop the app.

Did you know? You can play Pac-Man and other games in Facebook Messenger

“Safer community”

But that’s not the only Facebook news today – the company’s Newsroom blog has been updated, revealing that it’s working on “building a safer community.” The post says that suicide is the second leading cause of death for 15-29 year olds and one of the best ways to prevent this is for those in distress to hear from people that care about them.

“Facebook is in a unique position — through friendships on the site — to help connect a person in distress with people who can support them. It’s part of our ongoing effort to help build a safe community on and off Facebook.”

So, how does it plan to do that? Firstly, with integrated suicide prevention tools to help people in real time on Facebook Live, live chat support from crisis support organizations through Messenger and a more streamlined reporting for other users concerned that someone might consider suicide – assisted by artificial intelligence.

Here’s how it will work: If a user is concerned for someone conducting a live Facebook video, then they can reach out to the person directly through the video, or report it. Facebook will then be able to provide resources to the person – which will appear directly on the screen of the person making the video.



In regards to AI assistance, Facebook is also now testing tools that will be able to monitor certain language in a post and use pattern recognition to match it with posts previously reported for suicide. If the AI recognizes similar language, it will make the option to report the post about “suicide or self injury” more prominent.

In severe cases, it might provide resources to the individual without needing the post to be reported first.

Facebook will start a limited test in the US first, before it considers wider coverage.

Keep reading: You can now use the Facebook iOS app to get a detailed weather forecast