Video can be a powerful tool to drive user interest and dwell time – users spend an average of 40 minutes per day on YouTube, vs. 25 for Facebook. Watch will feature original programming financed by Facebook (very interesting considering how successful the Netflix original series have been!), alongside videos from other creators, and similar to YouTube this will become personalised to your interests over time. In addition to this, as Facebook have visibility of your Friend list and who you engage with, this can be tailored further to show you what they’re watching and liking/ commenting.
The launch shows cover a broad variety of topics, to appeal to a wide range of audiences - Nas Daily, a creator who makes daily 1 minute videos, Gabby Bernstein, a motivational speaker and Kitchen Little, a cooking show featuring children, as well as broadcasting a live Major League Baseball each week. In addition to original content, Watch is for creators, looking to “build a community of passionate fans, and earn money for their work”, which sounds like a very similar model to YouTube.Watch is initially being rolled out to a small percentage of users in the US, however if this proves to be successful, I imagine this will be circulated worldwide. This new video offering could hugely increase potential for additional advertising space and revenue, as well as opening up new opportunities for brands to reach consumers. However, Facebook have their work cut out as the online video market is extremely crowded, with paid-for services Netflix & Amazon providing a never-ending supply of premium programming and YouTube having a 12 year head-start on user-generated content and an extremely loyal fan base. It’ll be interesting to see if Watch can disrupt this landscape, to steal share of procrastinating video watching!Jessica Hughes, Account Manager