Facebook, Inc. (FB) has hired Mina Lefevre, former head of scripted development at Viacom, Inc. (VIAB)-owned MTV Networks, to boost its transition toward developing original content for its social network and becoming a "video-first" company. Online publication Qz, which first reported the news, conjectures that the move, along with other efforts made by the Menlo Park-based company in recent times, could put Facebook in competition with the likes of online video-streaming giant Netflix, Inc. (NFLX). (See also: Facebook May Invest in Original Content on Its Platform.)

In the short term, at least, that might not happen. During the company's fourth quarter earnings call, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the social media giant was aiming for shorter-form content in the near term. Lefevre's hire from a network that specializes in such content, aimed at teens and Generation Z, dovetails nicely with that approach. The company followed a similar strategy for live video, under which it paid media organizations upwards of a million dollars to develop short original content for its platform. On the other hand, Netflix specializes in long-form video content with budgets that run into the hundreds of millions of dollars, and it targets a completely different demographic. (See also: 3 Original Shows That Boosted Netflix's Top Line in 2016.)

That said, Facebook could turn out to be a threat in the long term, given its recent actions. It is said to be developing an app to run video from its platform as well as original content on set-top boxes. The WSJ story regarding this development states that the app could give the social network a means to compete with TV advertising dollars, given that the outlook for its digital ad sales is plateauing. (See also: Facebook Rally May Be Short-Lived.)

Facebook has also established partnerships with professional content creators. "We want people to think of Facebook as a place for interesting and relevant video content from professional creators as well as their friends," Zuckerberg said during Facebook's most recent earnings call. The CEO identified video as a megatrend on the same order as mobile. (See also: Facebook Will Be 'All Video' in Five Years: FB Exec.)

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