By Paresh Rajwat, Director, Product Management, and Matthew Henick, Head of Content Planning and Strategy
Facebook Watch is built on the notion that watching videos can help you connect more deeply with people, instead of being a passive or solitary experience. You have virtually unlimited ways — comments, shares, reactions, polls, Groups, messages, Watch Parties, and more — to connect with people around the videos you love.
We launched Watch globally less than a year ago, and there are now more than 720 million people monthly and 140 million people daily who spend at least one minute in Watch. On average, the daily visitors spend more than 26 minutes in Watch every day.
Building Watch for Social Video
Watch isn’t just a place to find videos and shows you love — it’s a place where you can explore and engage with other people who love them, too. These connections let people experience content in a whole new way, and we are focused on making Watch even more social.
We recently launched an easy way to find groups based on the videos you’re watching, right from Watch. For example, if you’re watching an episode of Red Table Talk in Watch, you’ll see the official group alongside the video, so you can join if you’d like to talk with other fans — or even the hosts themselves. We’re also testing new sections in Watch — like a way to find videos that are popular with friends, and a section dedicated to co-watching experiences like Watch Party, Premieres, and Live videos — to make it easier to connect with others around videos. We know that people like watching videos together with friends: we’ve found that people are 8X more likely to comment on videos in Watch Party than when watching on their own.
Something For Everyone In Watch
In order to make Watch the best place for people to enjoy videos together, we need to combine our range of social features with content that sparks people’s interests. Our goal with Watch is to offer a completely personalized experience for everyone, supported by a deep library of videos from a wide array of video creators and publishers.
An Ad-Supported Ecosystem
The best way to bring great content to Watch is to create a sustainable, ad-supported ecosystem where every publisher and creator can reach their audience, make money from their videos, and thrive on the platform. Ad breaks are available in more than 40 countries, and we continue to expand to more countries and languages around the world. Today we’re launching ad breaks in Canada, and over the coming weeks we will be adding support for five more languages: Kannada, Marathi, Punjabi, Swedish and Telugu.
Along with global expansion, the number of Pages actively using ad breaks has more than tripled over the past year — and the number of Pages earning over $1,000 in payouts per month has increased by more than 8X, while the number of Pages earning over $10,000 in payouts per month has increased by more than 3X.
Jay Shetty, a creator who makes inspirational videos on topics like relationships, self-love and purpose, and Mexican Survival Guide, creators of the popular and fun series about Mexican culture, found that creating longer videos that meet the three-minute ad break guidelines helped them earn more revenue to support their passions and expand their storytelling. And BuzzFeed and Group Nine Media are some of the publishers finding success with ad breaks, increasing their use across their Pages and leveraging tools like automatic ad placement to earn money for their engaging and creative videos.
We are also continuing our strategy of investing in a range of content that encourages conversations and connections. In addition to our Facebook Watch Originals, we are partnering with publishers and creators around the world so that they can bring timely, relevant and entertaining videos to Facebook Watch. Here’s a snapshot of what’s coming:
- Global Partnerships: We’re partnering with global publishers in entertainment, and sports to deliver a wide range of content that people want to talk about and form friendships around. ProSiebenSat.1 in Germany will bring a huge breadth of digital-first content to Watch — pre-shows, after-shows, interviews, and spin-offs — spanning their popular shows such as The Voice of Germany, Germany’s Next Top Model– by Heidi Klum, and Late Night Berlin. The International Cricket Council will make match previews, highlights, and insider commentary from every ICC Cricket World Cup match available in Watch. In Australia, Seven Studios will launch a slate of new original digital series — and Australian sporting codes NRL, AFL and Cricket Australia will showcase a range of sports content spanning match highlights, live original programs, wrap-ups, and more. And we’ll expand our News in Watch program internationally later this year.
- Facebook Watch Originals: Our Originals will continue to deliver immersive, social experiences with new seasons of fan-favorites and series debuts. Our adaptation of the iconic MTV’s The Real World premieres tomorrow in the US, Mexico and Thailand, and many other Originals are premiering this summer and fall — July: Human Discoveries (Premiere); August: Ball in the Family (Season 5), Curse of Akakor (Premiere), Five Points (Season 2), Huda Boss (Season 2); October: The Birch (Premiere), Limetown (Premiere), Sorry For Your Loss (Season 2). See our Media blog post for more details.
- Creator and Digital Publisher Collaborations: In March, we launched a program that connects creators with digital publishers, resulting in the creation of brand-new shows to debut on Facebook Watch. A number of these shows will be available in the coming months, including: Tastemade’s Sundays at Nonna’s featuring Ian Hecox (June), Whistle’s Globetrotter Gauntlet with the Harlem Globetrotters (June), The Players’ Tribune’s Generations featuring Megan Rapinoe and Lindsey Horan (June), Studio71’s Fetch Me A Date starring Jonathan Bennett and Dorothy Wang (July), and Buzzfeed’s Mi Quinceañera Come True featuring PeroLike (October).
Looking Forward To The Future
There’s always a lot happening with Watch, from amazing new videos that spark conversations, to creators and publishers that inspire fans. We’re committed to making Watch the best place for everyone around the world to discover and watch videos together.