Facebook Watch, the social network’s home to original video content and answer to YouTube, is now becoming available worldwide. The Watch tab had first launched last August, only in the U.S., and now touts over 50 million monthly viewers who watch at least a minute of video within Watch. Since the beginning of the year, total time spent viewing videos in Watch is up by 14x, says Facebook.
The company has continued to add more social features to Watch over the past year, including participatory viewing experiences like Watch Parties, Premiers, and those with audience involvement, like an HQ Trivia competitor, Confetti, built on the new gameshow platform.
Watch also offers basic tools for discovery, saving videos for later viewing, and lets users customize a feed of videos from Facebook Pages they follow.
Along with international availability, Facebook is introducing “Ad Breaks” to more publishers. These can be either mid-roll or pre-roll ads, or images below the video. Publishers can either insert the ads themselves or use Facebook’s automated ad insertion features. Facebook says 70+ percent of mid-roll ads are viewed to completion.
Ad Breaks are now offered to creators who publish 3-minute videos that generate over 30,000 1-minute views in total over the past 2 months; who have 10,000 Facebook followers or more; who are in a supported country; and who meet other eligibility criteria.
Supported countries today include the U.S., UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. Next month, that list will expand to include Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, The Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Thailand, supporting English content and other local languages. More countries and languages will then follow.
Also new today is the global launch of Creator Studio, where Pages can manage their entire content library and business. This includes the ability to search across their library to view post-level details and insights, as well as manage interactions across Pages, Facebook Messages, comments, and Instagram. Other tools here focus on using Ad Breaks, viewing monetization and payments, and publishing the videos.
The Creator Studio is also seeing the addition of a new metric on audience retention added now, allowing publishers to better program their content.
YouTube, too, also this year launched an updated version of its Creator Studio, now called YouTube Studio, offering similar analytics for its own network.
Facebook isn’t the only one making a play for YouTube’s creators – Amazon’s Twitch has been offering deals to woo creators to its game-streaming site, a recent report claimed.
“Our goal is to provide publishers and creators with the tools they need to build a business on Facebook,” the company said in an announcement. “Facebook’s Fostering an active, engaged community and sharing longer content that viewers seek out and regularly come back to are key to finding success,” it noted.