Facebook lets creators turn video premieres into live events

It's borrowing a page from Twitch.

If you watch enough Twitch channels, you may have seen a Premiere -- a pre-recorded video that debuts as a live stream. It lets broadcasters recreate the thrill you'd expect from a TV show premiere, just in an online format. Sound like a good idea? Facebook agrees. It's testing Premieres, an option that lets creators launch canned videos as Facebook Live moments, complete with real-time chats. You can check out a movie trailer or Watch show at the same time as everyone else, rather than racing to watch them on your own before your friends spoil everything.

The initial testers include an unspecified mix of creators, publishers and shows, but the feature should be available "more broadly" in the near future.

While Premieres isn't exactly original, it makes eminent sense given Facebook's increasing emphasis on Watch originals and the nature of many videos you find on Facebook. It helps producers build hype by giving viewers a specific time to visit their pages, complete with the pop-up notifications you don't get with regular video posts. And just like a TV premiere, it could create virtual watercooler talk that leads others to wonder what the buzz was about and check out a video themselves. It might also spur the growth of Facebook Live. The format is already successful with over 3.5 billion streams to date, and that's from truly live events -- it could get yet another boost from recorded clips.