Facebook have just launched their own video service called ‘Facebook Watch’ worldwide, just over a year after its initial launch in the US. So how does Facebook Watch actually work?
Well, Facebook Watch will let users to choose from a variety of shows to watch, and also have the ability to view clips saved from their news feed. It will also allows all content creators to feature advertising breaks, as long as they hit certain metrics.
Until now, this facility had only been available to certain publishers. To qualify for an ad break, publishers must have the following criteria met – videos longer than three minutes, more than 30,000 who have stayed for more than a minute when watching the content over the past two months, more than 10,000 followers and be located in one of the countries where this facility is available. So, only videos shown to audiences in the UK, Ireland, US, Australia and New Zealand will have this facility. In terms of revenue, it will be split 55% to the creators and 45% to Facebook.
Facebook stated that other countries, including France, Germany, Norway, Mexico and Thailand would also receive ad breaks in September.
With the announcement of Facebook Watch, some have speculated that it will be the rival to YouTube, the largest video sharing platform online. It also competes against traditional TV channels and other popular platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Video, and Facebook’s own Instagram TV.
However, a study published last week showed that Watch only had a small appeal during its first release in the US. Out of 1,632 Facebook users questioned, 50% said they had never heard of Watch, and 24% said they knew of the service, but had never ever used it. This left only 14% saying that they used it once a week.
Another source reported that although some shows on Watch had attracted a large audience, they often struggled to keep them coming back for more.
There have been some big names involved with Watch’s original programming, including Jada Pinkett Smith (host of talk show “Red Table Talk”), Elizabeth Olsen (who stars in the upcoming drama “Sorry For Your Loss”) and Bear Grylls (adventurer and host of reality show “Face the Wild”), as well as some other original titles from networks such as ABC, Fox News, Vice and Buzzfeed.
Like many other platforms, Facebook Watch will be available through Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox One and Oculus TV. However, Facebook claims that their advantage against competitors is how interactive their service is.
Fidji Simo, Facebook’s vice president of video, stated: “It is built on the notion that watching video doesn’t have to be a passive experience,”
You can have a two-way conversation about the content with friends, other fans or even the creators themselves.”
Ms Simo also said that the “Watch Party” feature allows users to co-ordinate themselves to watch a show together, while an Interactivity Platform allows creators to create polls, challenges and quizzes to boost engagement with their audience.
So far though, it really does seem like Facebook Watch didn’t catch on in America, and that there isn’t that much excitement for this latest concoction by Facebook to get into the video streaming service.
Will you be giving Facebook Watch a go, or will you just be sticking to binge watching shows on Netflix instead?
Story by Emily Clark
Featured Image Credit: Feedough