Facebook Watch Launches Globally, But Can This Video Platform Rival Juggernaut YouTube?
Facebook rolled out its new video platform called Facebook Watch about a year ago promising original programming for fans to enjoy. Initially, the service was only available in the U.S.; Facebook is changing that with the announcement today that Facebook Watch is rolling out globally. Facebook is also taking the opportunity to talk a bit about the tweaks it has made to the service since it launched. Facebook Watch has become more social over the last year making it easier for users to see what videos your friends liked or shared and is bolstering its feature set to take on the dominant YouTube.
The social network also opened Watch to videos from Pages. Facebook video content ranges from original programming to Major League Baseball Games. It also talks a bit about how many people are using Watch; each month more than 50 million people in the U.S. come to watch videos for at least a minute via the service. Time spent watching videos is trending upward for Watch with Facebook claiming that time spent watching videos is up 14x since the start of 2018.
With Watch rolling out globally, the service offers a place to discover new videos in multiple categories via a personalized feed for each Facebook user. A Watchlist at the top of the Watch feed is a playlist of all the recent videos from pages that users follow. That section allows customization by removing Pages from your follow list within Watch or by adding more Pages.
Watch is also a place for users to save videos they see in their newsfeed, but don’t have time to watch. The social network notes that over time new types of programming will be added to Watch, such as Watch Parties, Premiers, and other video content that focuses on audience participation. One such audience participation show is the trivia show Confetti. Facebook users can access Watch via iOS or Android apps by looking for the Watch icon on the shortcuts bar or the "More" bookmark. Other ways to Watch include Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV, Amazon Fire TC, Android TV, Xbox One, and Oculus TV.