Facebook Watch, the social network's video platform, has now gone global, a year after the feature was launched in the United States.
The Facebook Watch feature was designed to be a special section on the social network focused on video content, and its global rollout will allow it to better challenge rivals such as YouTube and Netflix. Should these companies start worrying about Facebook Watch dominating the video streaming space?
Facebook Watch: Here's What It's All About
In a Facebook Newsroom post, the social network revealed that Facebook Watch is now available around the world.
Facebook Watch creates a personalized Watch feed for each Facebook user and also offers a Watchlist for a collection of videos from Facebook Pages that the user follows. Facebook users will also be able to save videos that they want to view later on their Watch feed.
Facebook added that it is creating new video experiences that will allow users to participate in the direction of the content. Examples of such initiatives include Watch Parties, Premiers, and videos that are focused on the participation of the audience, such as the Confetti trivia game show.
Facebook Watch is accessible through the Facebook app on the iOS and Android through its dedicated icon in the shortcuts bar or in the More bookmark.
Facebook vs Netflix And YouTube
According to Facebook, over 50 million users in the United States view videos for at least a minute on Facebook Watch. In addition, the total time that users have spent watching videos in Facebook Watch has increased by 14 times since the start of the year.
The figures appear daunting, but YouTube and Netflix should not be too worried about Facebook Watch yet. First and foremost, one-minute views are not really a good indicator of the feature's success.
In addition, despite the global launch and the significant investments into the feature, data gathered by The Diffusion Group revealed that half of adult Facebook users do not even know that Facebook Watch exists.
In a survey of 1,632 adult Facebook users, 50 percent said that they have never heard of Facebook Watch, and while 24 percent of the respondents said that they have heard of it, they have never used it.
Facebook Watch, drawing upon the massive Facebook userbase, certainly has the potential to be a potent challenger to YouTube and Netflix. However, it may take a while before it becomes as much of a household name as its competitors.