Last year Facebook (Fb) launched ‘Watch’ to rival YouTube and is exclusively available to U.S users. However, dubbed as the ‘home of original video content’, Watch will now be available to users worldwide, yippee!
Watch launched exclusively in the U.S last year and achieves over 50 mil monthly viewers, with at least 1 min viewing time. It features as an extra tab on your Facebook app, highlighting your watch list and pages you follow. Therefore, the content you see as ‘Top Videos For You’ depends on the videos you like and engage with the most.
Watch’s features expand to include ‘Watch Parties’, a channel allowing Facebook groups to host and engage videos together. All group members can watch and react to videos live! Just create the party and post the content, similarly to posting a status. Watch will also offer tools for discovery, allowing you to save videos for later viewing, in addition to customisable video feeds.
International availability comes with the introduction of Ad breaks to more publishers. These involve mid-roll or pre-roll ads and images under the video. Publishers can insert the ads themselves. Alternatively, they can publish through Facebook’s automated insertion feature. Their decision to include ad breaks stems from over 70% of mid-roll ads being viewed to completion.
Ad breaks are available to more publishers, however certain criteria must be met to determine eligibility. Publishers must conform to Facebook’s ‘Monetisation Eligibility Standards‘; creators must publish 3 min+ videos, generating over 30k 1 min views across 2 months. They must have 10k+ Fb followers in a supported country, such as the U.S., UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. By the end of September, this will expand across Europe and SE Asia.
Programming content is now becoming easier with the introduction of ‘Creator Studio’. Therefore business pages on Facebook can more easily manage their content library. This is due to the ability to cross check the library and view post details and insights. Managing interactions across messages and comments is now easier, with the introduction of a new metric showing audience retention. YouTube launched ‘YouTube Studio’ earlier this year, offering similar analytics to Facebook’s recent endeavour.
With the worldwide introduction of ‘Watch’ and the recent developments in Fb.gg (Facebook Gaming), it seems Facebook is well underway in rivalling the services of competitor YouTube.