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Facebook launches video service worldwide

Posted on August 30, 2018

 

Social networking titan Facebook has recently started to roll out its video streaming service, Watch, just over a year after it was originally launched in the USA.

Facebook users will now be able to choose from a variety of shows to watch and will have the ability to watch clips saved from their news feeds through the service.

The company plans to give all content creators the chance to make use of advert breaks within these videos, as long as they meet the criteria set though measurable metrics. Prior to the launch of Watch, only selected publishers had been granted the opportunity to make use of these advertising slots.

As the service is only beginning its worldwide rollout, the advertising breaks will only be available to content shown to audiences based in the US, the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia. It is believed that the revenue generated is set to be split almost equally, with content creators receiving a 55% split compared to Facebook’s 45% share.

To qualify to use the ad break facility, apart from being based in one of the countries where the function is used, content creators must have more than 10,000 followers, and have content longer than three minutes that attracts more that 30,000 viewers who stay with the content for more than one minute.

The announcement of the feature was brought forward by a few days after details of Watch and its rollout had been leaked. This meant that not all users were able to access the function straight after the initial rollout announcement.

In the past, Watch has often been described as a rival to YouTube, the world’s biggest video-streaming site, but it will be competing against online brands such as Amazon Video, Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Instagram TV, as well as traditional television channels.

Based on a study in the US from the Diffusion Group, in its first year, Watch only had a niche appeal. This survey questioned 1,632 Facebook users and results showed that 50% had never heard of Facebook Watch, whilst 24% stated that they had heard of the service, but had not used it before. A total of 14% surveyed stated that they used the service at least once a week.

Another problem that Watch seems to be having is retaining users who utilise the service. A separate report said that although some shows on the platform had attracted millions of viewers, the retention rate of these users was low, with few returning.

It would appear that Watch has had a turbulent first year in the US, but will the rest of the world catch on?

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