Facebook Says Watch’s Social Features Makes It Stand Out

By Dan Anderson ● September 3, 2018

Recently Facebook announced that its Watch video service is rolling out globally. Prior to the expansion, Facebook was available in the US only. About 50 million people in the US watched videos for at least one minute a month. One of the reasons why Facebook Watch rapidly grew is because the service was given prominent placement within the main Facebook mobile app.

Even though Facebook is a late-comer to video streaming, the company believes that social features will make it more distinguishable from the competition. “Video has always been social, even before the internet, when everybody was watching the same few channels,” said Facebook’s head of video Fidji Simo via CNBC. “Everyone was talking about their favorite shows around the water cooler.”

Rather than copying YouTube and Netflix features, Facebook believes that it can capitalize on users who watch shows together again from mobile devices and their computers. “We can do that because all of your friends are on Facebook,” Simo added.

According to Merkle’s chief analytics officer Andy Fisher, brands spend roughly $13 billion per year on online video. In order to further penetrate the market, Facebook has been investing in original programming for Facebook Watch. And the company has struck deals with a number of social media influencers.

Facebook also now allows creators in the US, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand with the opportunity to earn ad revenue from their videos. The videos must be at least three minutes long and must be produced by influencers with at least 10,000 followers. Plus the video clips must have attracted 30,000 views that have lasted over one minute during a two-month period. The creators will keep 55% of the ad revenue.

Simo also said that the company wants to prioritize content from friends and family. And that content will “evolve to video in the future” since that is what has more demand.