Facebook on Wednesday said that monthly users to its Watch video service had doubled since December while announcing more partnerships with international broadcasters and publishers.
Facebook launched Watch globally less than a year ago, and says 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, according to the company.
Watch is a place to find videos and shows, but also a place where you can explore and engage with other people. Facebook 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. The company is 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.
Facebook's goal is to combine social features with content that sparks people’s interests.
For video creators, Facebook Watch features ad breaks, which are available in more than 40 countries. Today Facebook is launching ad breaks in Canada, and over the coming weeks the company will be adding support for five more languages: Kannada, Marathi, Punjabi, Swedish and Telugu.
Facebook says that he 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.
Facebook has received flak from regulators over the past year for how it moderates content on its platforms and it has controls in place for publishers seeking to make money for their content through Ad Breaks.
To be eligible, pages need to have been creating 3-minute videos that have generated more than 30,000 1-minute views in the past two months, have 10,000+ Facebook followers, and be located in a country where Ad Breaks is available.
All videos with ad breaks also undergo a review process aimed at ensuring it meets the company’s content guidelines.
In addition to Facebook Watch Originals, Facebook is partnering with publishers and creators around the world so that they can bring timely, relevant and entertaining videos to Facebook Watch.
The company is partnering with global publishers in entertainment, and sports. ProSiebenSat.1 in Germany will bring 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 will continue with new seasons of series, along with new ones. 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).
New shows coming in the coming months, include: 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).
New jobs in new London engineering center
In related news, Facebook will create 500 new tech jobs in London by the end of 2019, including 100 roles in artificial intelligence, with many working on systems to detect and remove malicious content, fake accounts and harmful behavior, it said on Wednesday.
The social media giant said it will employ more than 3,000 people in the capital by the end of the year across three sites, including its new engineering center in Soho, central London.
Facebook said London was its biggest engineering center outside the United States, with 1,800 people employed in technology and engineering by the end of the year.