Facebook's Portal enters crowded streaming market

Facebook has taken its first steps into the crowded market for TV streaming, with a new version of its Portal video-chat device.

The tech giant is pivoting towards more private forms of communication after data-sharing scandals, anger over its hands-off approach to offensive content, and slowing growth.

Portal's focus is on video-calling, using a wide-angle camera that means you can walk around the room and stay in focus as you chat.

It can be used for WhatsApp calls too.

Facebook is already one of the biggest players in private messaging -- some 2.4 billion people a month use its WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram apps.

It's hoping the social side of Portal will be its big selling point -- it lets users watch shows together via video call, for example.

But it'll face stiff competition. It has few music apps and limited TV programming compared to established and content-rich rivals like Apple TV, Netflix and Roku.

And it has had to lower prices to compete with smart speakers from Amazon and Google that sell for under 100 dollars.

The new Portals will go on sale in November.