After building a deceptively large U.S. audience, Facebook Watch is going global.
The social media giant with the $500 billion market valuation said in a blog post that it will make its Watch platform available worldwide effective Thursday.
“Every month, more than 50 million people in the U.S. come to watch videos for at least a minute in Watch—and total time spent watching videos in Watch has increased by 14X since the start of 2018,” wrote Fidjo Simo, head of video for Facebook, in a blog post.
Last week, research company The Diffusion Group noted that nearly 74% of Facebook’s U.S. audience doesn’t consume the original video platform, and that 50% of the social media’s users haven’t even heard of it.
Only 6% of Facebook’s U.S. users consume video daily on Watch, TDG said, and only 8% access Watch on a weekly basis.
Of course, when you’re dealing with the kind of audience scale Facebook enjoys, the glass could also be interpreted as 6%-8% full for the Watch, which programs a combination of entertainment, news and sports, ranging from Red Table Talk with Jada Pinkett Smith, to reality show Ball in the Family, to Major League Baseball games.
Given Facebook’s U.S. user base is pegged at around 214 million, 6% of that audience would be close to 13 million daily users—a seriously good first-year audience performance, any way you slice it.
Simo said Facebook would continue to fine-tune Watch, while taking its existing programming slate international and including subtitles where needed.
He said Facebook will expand its Ad Breaks monetization program, which currently includes mid-roll and pre-roll ad formats, as well as image ads directly below the video. This allows creators to earn a share of ad revenue generated by their videos.
“Taking Watch global also means new opportunities for creators and publishers around the world,” Simo added. “We’re expanding our Ad Breaks program so more partners can make money from their videos, and we’re offering new insights, tools and best practices for Pages in Creator Studio.”