Facebook Watch: The video platform eyes an expansion while news show funding gets slashed

By: | Published: December 14, 2018 4:19 PM

The fact that Facebook is all set to expand ads in more countries and launch Watch on desktop signifies that it considers video, especially the one tailored to international markets as a valuable opportunity for growth of its sprawling ad empire.

facebookThe company has not disclosed unique Watch visitors, while it counts its repeat visitors as separate views.

Facebook Watch is all set to expand! Recently, it has been announced that the platform’s 15-sec ads are being expanded to more than a dozen new countries. According to a report in The Information, Facebook Watch is also being launched all across the globe on desktop and on Facebook Lite. Interestingly, this is being done just days after Facebook slashed the funding for some of its original news shows that are being created in partnership with CNN, ABC News and Buzzfeed. While Facebook’s budget for news content remains at $90 million, the company is reallocating the funds to other programs. The report also stated that the ad revenue generated from Facebook Watch has not been up to expectations.

According to a report in The Verge, even after a year and a half since the introduction of Facebook Watch, viewership has been little compared to YouTube, Twitch and other platforms. Some of the reasons for this could be poor marketing and awareness. According to a recent survey conducted by Diffusion Group, even after 12 months of its launch, Facebook Watch was still virtually unknown by 50 percent of adults across the United States. The company has not disclosed unique Watch visitors, while it counts its repeat visitors as separate views. Recently, Facebook said that more than 400 million users watch at least one minute of video per month. According to stats from Omnicore, this is in contrast with the estimated 1.9 billion monthly active users of Youtube, as of September this year.

The fact that Facebook is all set to expand ads in more countries and launch Watch on desktop signifies that it considers video, especially the one tailored to international markets as a valuable opportunity for growth of its sprawling ad empire. The countries where Watch is being expanded include China (Hong Kong), Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, India, South Africa, Italy among others. Reportedly, the service is also in talks with other media companies about approaching the demographic of 30 and above, after discovering that teens were fleeing Facebook for its sister platform Instagram, the report said.

To bring back the classic reality show called ‘The Real World’ with an international focus, along with an interactive game show called ‘Confetti’, the social network giant announced in October that it had partnered with MTV. It has also been reported that the company is in talks with HBO to sell a subscription to the service, which could be accessed only within the mobile application, and most likely via the Watch tab.

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