Warner Bros. has started renting out its movies via Facebook. This offer, right now, is only valid in the US, and hopefully it will be available here soon. US users pay $3 (approx Rs. 180) per movie. Right now, the only movie available for rent is The Dark Knight, however, more movies from the Warner Bros. catalogue will roll out in the coming months. The option to rent a movie is available on the left hand side of your Facebook page.
The Dark Knight, now fighting crime via Facebook
Once a user rents a movie, they have a 48 hour window to watch it. Users can also use Facebook credits, Facebook's own currency to rent movies; they will need 30 credits per movie. In addition to liking the movie and commenting on the movie, users will also be able to pause it, and continue watching later.
Right now, the way this feature is currently set up, it will still have a tough time overtaking online streaming giants Hulu and Netflix (also sadly not available in India yet). However, this step is huge for Warner Bros and Facebook. For Warner, they're expanding into the digital space using one of the world's most populated websites as a vehicle. For Facebook, they too are expanding into the streaming space, and moreover, they're establishing and giving more validity to their currency. It will be interesting to see how soon Warner Bros. expands its catalogue on Facebook, and whether Facebook will start offering content from other studios as well. Two aspects of this feature that could be better are one, be available internationally (of course!) and two, the 48 hour window seems a little short. With Hulu, Netflix and even Blockbuster, there is no time limit on rentals. Inducing time restrictions is actually going a step backwards in online streaming. They should really introduce subscription based plans allowing users to rent a certain number of movies per week or month and remove the time restriction.