The Evolution of Facebook Watch

By Paresh Rajwat, Head of Video Products

Since Facebook Watch launched globally in 2018, it’s become the go-to place to discover videos across Facebook for whatever you’re into — whether that’s live events, shows, sports, news or music videos. Today, more than 1.25 billion people visit Watch every month to discover and share videos from millions of creators and publishers.

Instant Entertainment Personalized for You

Our aim is to instantly entertain people when they visit Watch. We’ve made it easier for people to find more videos they’ll like with better navigation, expert curation and smarter machine learning. And we’re working on ways to connect people with videos that match their interests.

Watch BuzzFeed screenshotDuring a time when people can’t come together physically, more people are turning to Watch to stay connected to creators, artists, sports, entertainment and what’s happening in the world. To support those connections, we introduced a dedicated section within Watch for live videos. Across Latin America, more than 13.7 million people tuned in to watch the UEFA Champions League final, making it the most-watched football broadcast on Facebook. Events like these are more than a stream of a game, they’re a way for fans to share in the moment by interacting in real time with the broadcaster and others.

With growing demand to connect around music on Facebook, we introduced music videos in Watch to everyone in the US, India and Thailand. The music destination in Watch lets people explore music videos by genre, artist or mood, and features themed playlists. Last month, Katy Perry debuted her new music video, “Smile,” the title track of her just released fifth album, exclusively on Facebook to millions of fans.

Watch Katy Perry music video screenshotShows in Watch continue to inspire conversation in Facebook Groups and beyond, with some fan-favorite series returning this month and new ones launching soon. Red Table Talk has emerged as the go-to place for unpacking today’s most compelling social issues in real time as Jada, Willow and Gammy have created a safe space for honest and vulnerable conversations. Mike Rowe spotlights the everyday heroes that go above and beyond for their local communities in the heartwarming Daytime Emmy-winning Returning the Favor. On STEVE on Watch, comedian Steve Harvey entertains audiences with his unique perspective, insight and celebrity interviews. And coming in October, Red Table Talk: The Estefans will bring together three generations of women — Gloria Estefan, her niece Lily and daughter Emily — around the iconic red table to share their opinions and life experiences, with no topics off-limits. 

Supporting Partners Through Economic Recovery

The last few months have been tough for many creators and businesses. To help our partners, we are continuing to build new tools so they can diversify their revenue and expand their presence on Facebook.

We recently launched paid online events to make it easy to create an online event, set a price, promote the event, collect payment and host the event, all in one place. To support small businesses and creators, Facebook will not collect any fees from paid online events for at least the next year. 

We’ve expanded availability of fan subscriptions and Stars so fans can support their favorite creators, and in-stream ads continue to evolve, making it easier to monetize more types of videos with ads. 

We are also in the early stages of rolling out a new Organic Video Post Testing tool to help partners A/B test aspects of a post, including thumbnails, titles, descriptions and video content so they can better determine what works best for their audience. 

Partner Success Stories

Partners are using these tools to reach new audiences, showcase creative content and earn money. Buzzfeed, which runs Pages like Tasty, Goodful, Nifty, BringMe, Cocoa Butter and Pero Like, has seen an increase in revenue from Facebook by focusing on creating more videos over three minutes across their network of Pages. “We moved quickly and increased our payout from total in-stream ads by 20% compared to the previous half,” said Maycie Timpone, Executive Director, Video & Publishing at BuzzFeed. 

Brandi Guice, also known as Braannxo, is a beauty creator who shares makeup tutorials and beauty tips with her fans on Facebook. She uses Facebook Stars and fan subscriptions to deepen her bond with her community and promote real-time fan interaction, and these tools account for 98% of her revenue.

UFC shares fight footage, highlights and interviews with athletes on Facebook Watch to build anticipation for its marquee events. It also uses in-stream ads to monetize its content, and currently generates more than seven figures annually in advertising revenue on Facebook.

In France, national broadcaster M6 has seen a 2.5X increase in one-minute video views in nine months, while organically acquiring more than 6 million new follows across its network of Facebook Pages including France’s Got Talent, Top Chef and Les Marseillais. In Germany, ProSiebenSat.1 has more than doubled its one-minute video views in 11 months, while organically acquiring 2.5 million new follows across its show Pages such as The Voice of Germany and Galileo, rallying new audiences.

In Thailand, leading TV broadcaster Channel 8 increased its monetizable one-minute video views for its drama series highlight videos by 6X. The broadcaster revamped its video editing and publishing strategy, implementing a new approach to grab viewers’ attention, increase monetizable views and improve in-stream ad payout while building brand awareness.

Across Latin America, audiovisual production company Badabun has tripled its interactions on video content in the first half of 2020 and will continue to invest heavily in Spanish-language original series on Facebook Watch.

We’re committed to making Watch a place that helps more than 1.25 billion people and millions of partners build connections through video. 


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