Facebook’s Watch video-streaming service is being rolled out worldwide, just over a year after its launch in the US. Users will be able to choose from a range of shows – from both established brands and new players, as well as being able to have the ability to view clips saved from News Feeds.

The firm plans to allow all content creators to feature advertising breaks, so long as they hit certain criteria. Until now, only select publishers had been given the opportunity. To start with, only videos shown to audiences in the UK, US, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand will have this facility. The revenue split will be 55% to the creators and 45% to Facebook.

Watch is often portrayed as a rival to Google’s You Tube, but it also competes for attention against traditional TV channels as well as other online outlets like Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

A report noted that although some Watch shows had attracted audiences numbering in their millions, they often struggled to retain them. Even so, some big name stars have been involved in original programming made for the platform.

Facebook claims that its advantage against other platforms is the ways Watch helps viewers interact with others. “It is built on the notion that watching video doesn’t have to be a passive experience,” explained Fidji Simo, Facebook’s vice-president of video. “You can have a two-way conversation about the content with friends, other fans or even the creators themselves.”
She added that a Watch Party feature lets users co-ordinate themselves to watch a show together, while an Interactivity Platform allows creators to run polls, challenges and quizzes to boost engagement.


www.bbc.co.uk/technews (29th August 2018)