Facebook Watch is now available worldwide following its launch in the US a year ago. The video-streaming service allows users to discover great videos that appear in Watch – from established brands and newbies – and catch up with friends, creators and publishers. The social platform has added more social features to Watch over the past year, including Watch parties, Premiers and videos focused on audience participation. It also offers tools for discovery, like saving videos for later viewing and letting users customise a feed of videos from Facebook Pages they follow. Facebook claims that these updates have helped people engage more deeply with videos they love. It’s good news for content creators as Facebook is supporting them in critical areas. Firstly, the platform allows all content creators to feature advertising breaks, as long as they hit certain metrics. These can be either TV-like pre- or mid-roll ads, or even images below the video. Publishers can either insert ads themselves or use Facebook’s automated as insertion features. Whenever the ad break is shown, the revenue split will be 55% for the creators and 45% to Facebook. Until now, only certain publishers have been given the opportunity. “Facebook will be investing $1 billion in original content, and will compete with the likes of YouTube by allowing content creators (who meet certain metrics) to monetise with advertising,” said Ruth Manielevitch, director of business development EMEA at Taptica.“What’s more, Facebook Watch’s continued roll-out across Europe further supports the forecasted growth of video ad spend, which among large brands has increased by 53% over the past two years. It may still be early days, but video on demand is trending and we’re seeing increasing numbers of marketers interested in these ad placements.” Secondly, Facebook Watch will help advertisers better understand how their content is performing with Creator Studio. Creator Studio allows publishers and creators to manage their entire video content across all the Pages that they manage. The Creator Studio is also seeing the addition of a new metric on audience retention, allowing publishers to better programme their content. In its statement, Facebook claims that its advantage against other platforms is the ways in which Watch helps users interact with others and its goal is to provide publishers and creators with the tools they need to build a business on Facebook. “Facebook Watch will create more video traffic for marketers and advertisers to target, driving healthy competition with YouTube who is currently dominating the space,” added Manielevitch.“It will be interesting to see if users make the switch and choose to get all their content in the one app. Arguably more people get their news from Facebook, so consolidating their news – articles and videos – on the one platform means more time spent there. This is obviously quite enticing for brands, but the challenge now, as always, is for these creatives to produce compelling content that’s going to cut through,” commented Will Ingham, creative director and founder of WING.
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