Facebook Launches its “Watch Video”

Facebook makes its Watch video service available in  around the world.
Now, this tab will no longer be reserved for the United States, as it has been since its launch a year ago, announced Wednesday August 29 Fiji Simo, the head of video for the social network. You can find info, entertainment or sport, with videos from CNN or Jada Pinkett Smith, actor Will Smith’s wife, as well as some baseball games.

Facebook continues its offensive in the video. Faced with competitors such as YouTube, Netflix, Amazon or Instagram (which belongs to Facebook), its strategy is hybrid: with Watch, the company seeks to create a space offering videos of better quality than those published by anyone in the newsfeed, the thread on which each user consults the contents of his friends and the pages he follows.

But, for all that, Facebook is not throwing itself into the race to fund “original content”, series or movies, such as Netflix, Amazon, HBO or Disney. Unlike these paid services or the Discover section of Snapchat, Watch is an “open platform” where “creators” – celebrities, independent publishers or traditional media ,will be able to post videos. Without proposing the abundance of content, often amateur, present on YouTube .

The originality of Watch is its “interactivity”, highlights Ms. Simo, citing the possibility of watching and commenting videos to several or answer a quiz as in the show “Confetti”.

It has been difficult to gauge the actual audience of this service since its launch, as Facebook only publishes some in-house statistics. In the United States, 50 million users would watch at least a minute of Watch content per month, ahead of Facebook. But, according to a study published on August 21 by The Diffusion Group, 50% of US Facebook users surveyed (out of 1,632 people) had never heard of Watch, 24% had heard about it without using it .

To make Watch emerge, Facebook is counting on the evolution of its business model: so far, the social network has directly funded video content – with, according to the Wall Street Journal, a budget of $ 1 billion in 2018, an amount of that Facebook refuses to confirm or deny. These investments will continue outside the United States, says Fidji Simo. But publishers remember that Facebook initially paid them to produce live videos for Facebook Live, before stopping once the service was well established.

Now, Facebook gives the opportunity to creators from several countries, to insert advertising cuts in their Watch videos. They will keep 55% of the revenue, Facebook 45%. This scheme aims to interest some media or creators present on the rival YouTube.