This month, Facebook announced the launch of Watch, a new video tab that will feature dozens of original shows.
“We hope Watch will be home to a wide range of shows — from reality to comedy to live sports. Some will be made by professional creators, and others from regular people in our community,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post.
Watch will initially be available to a limited number of users in the U.S. on mobile, desktop and Facebook’s TV apps – but it will open up to a wider audience over the next few weeks.
Watch airs shows that are both live and recorded, personalizing recommendations based on what your friends and networks are watching. Social interactions also play a big role in the Watch experience. Show Pages offer a place to watch episodes, and connect with communities that have grown around each show.
Daniel Danker, Director of Product wrote in a statement:
We’ve learned from Facebook Live that people’s comments and reactions to a video are often as much a part of the experience as the video itself. So when you watch a show, you can see comments and connect with friends and other viewers while watching, or participate in a dedicated Facebook Group for the show.
Watch is a decisive move toward Facebook taking a share of television advertising budgets. With its network of 2 billion active monthly viewers, Facebook is positioned to compete with YouTube and other streaming platforms.
Content creators will eventually be able to monetize their shows through Ad Breaks, where partners keep 55% of ad revenue, and Facebook earns 45%.
This week, Facebook also revealed it will let advertisers choose whether to buy in-stream video placements within Facebook, on the Facebook Audience Network, or across all formats. The company said this decision is based on both advertisers’ requests and consumer behavior. In-stream ads have performed well in the past, with more than 70% garnering watch times of at least 15 seconds, most with the sound turned on.
As Facebook promotes more TV-style content on Watch, it’s simultaneously bolstering its advertising options to appeal to brands across different industries.