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Facebook Moving In on Netflix's Territory?

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Facebook is making a bold push into the content distribution business.

The social networking giant has partnered with Warner Bros. to launch a movie rental service, according to The Hollywood Reporter. To kick off the new rental option, Warner Bros. is offering its 2008 smash The Dark Knight, the second film in the most recent Batman trilogy, for $3, or 30 Facebook credits.

And while Facebook is starting with just one partner and one movie (more will be added soon, says Warner Bros.), the implications of this partnership could be enormous, given the site’s massive distribution. If Facebook can convince even a small slice of its 500 million-plus global user base to start viewing the site as an entertainment outlet, that could shake up the Web video content distribution market, affecting companies ranging from Netflix to YouTube to Amazon.

"Facebook has become a daily destination for hundreds of millions of people," Thomas Gewecke, president of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, told THR. "Making our films available through Facebook is a natural extension of our digital distribution efforts. It gives consumers a simple, convenient way to access and enjoy our films through the world's largest social network."